SADC meeting on Mozambique postponed at eleventh hour as Ramaphosa appears before Zondo commission

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Chaos erupted in the area of Palma in Mozambique.
Chaos erupted in the area of Palma in Mozambique.
Ashraf Amra/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
  • The Extra Ordinary Summit of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security on the conflict in Mozambique has been postponed.
  • This due to the unavailability of Botswana's president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, because Covid-19 and President Cyril Ramaphosa's testimony at the Zondo commission.
  • Masisi's deputy, Slumber Tsogwane, and Deputy President David Mabuza were set to attend the meeting in their presidents' stead.

Despite two deputy presidents' plans to attend the Extra Ordinary Summit of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, scheduled for Thursday, it has been postponed due to the unavailability of Botswana's president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, and President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The meeting was expected to discuss the deployment of almost 3 000 military personnel, including 2 000 ground troops, to deal with the violent terrorist insurgency in Mozambique's northern province, Cabo Delgado.

A statement from Botswana's presidency announced the meeting had been "moved to a later date", without saying when this would be. 

"The leaders agreed on a postponement as a result of the unavailability of the chairperson his excellency, President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, currently in quarantine and the incoming vhairperson, his excellency President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa who is appearing at the Zondo commission of inquiry," read the statement.

READ | AS IT HAPPENED | Ramaphosa wraps up first day of evidence at #StateCaptureInquiry

Masisi's deputy, Slumber Tsogwane, was supposed to lead the Botswana delegation to Maputo, according to the statement, while Deputy President David Mabuza was set to attend the meeting on South Africa's behalf.

The meeting would also have discussed a special report by the Southern African Development Community Double Troika Plus Angola Technical Assessment Mission, which found individuals and private organisations in South Africa were among those who have been funding the jihadist insurgents in Cabo Delgado, who have to date killed almost 800 civilians, News24 reported on Wednesday.

The report said the insurgents were allegedly funded by mobile money transfers from sympathisers, such as "M-Pesa, M-kesh and E-mola". The funders are said to be mainly from South Africa, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Burundi and other parts of the world.

According to the report, their funds also came from organised crime syndicates exploiting natural resources such as timber, precious stones, poaching, and drug trafficking.    

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