It is understood that before the formal complaint, Vice-President John Nkomo had last week also raised concerns about Ms Zulu’s conduct to President Zuma. Sources say Mr Zuma agreed that indeed “the girl’s wings should be clipped”.
The complaint against Ms Zulu, who is also President Zuma’s international relations advisor, followed the publication of inflammatory claims in the ANC weekly newsletter, the ANC Today, on May 13 that the facilitation team had told that country’s ruling party that GPA negotiators “are concerned about the succession law should (President) Mugabe die or retire before the adoption of a new constitution”.
The sensational claim that was attributed to Ms Zulu, who has served as the spokesperson for the facilitation team, although Sadc does not recognise her as she was appointed by President Zuma, has been described by observers as a “tactless, inflammatory and irresponsible display of poor judgment by an overzealous individual”.
Prior to this engagement in the facilitation team, Ms Zulu was the SA ambassador to Brussels.An outraged Zanu-PF official said Zulu is “playing a very cheap and dangerous game which can be played by any fool. What she says about our leaders we can say about her’s with more credibility.
“She is forgetting that she is a mere assistant to the facilitator. She is just an aide. We have more senior ANC members in the facilitation team like Cde Marc Maharaj, who are not acting recklessly like her. She wants to speak with a voice stronger than the President of Zimbabwe and stronger than the President of South Africa, who is the facilitator. There is even a tinge of personal advocacy in Zulu’s activities and we are watching.”
In recent weeks since Livingstone, Ms Zulu has had a number of media outbursts which have included threats to broaden the GPA negotiations to include all political parties allegedly to assist Dumiso Dabengwa’s Zapu.
She is also reported to have described the decision by the Zanu (PF) Politburo to support the holding of elections this year as “day dreaming”.
Ms Zulu’s latest outburst published by the ANC newsletter has not gone down well within senior ranks of Zanu (PF) prompting the office of the party’s national chairman, Cde Simon Khaya Moyo, to take up the matter with his ANC counterpart, Baleka Mbete. What has infuriated the party’s leadership is that Ms Zulu’s claims are patently unfounded because they are based on the false presumption that the Constitution of Zimbabwe does not have a succession law when the opposite is the case.
A Sadc diplomat who spoke to this writer on the sidelines of the Extraordinary Sadc Summit in Namibia last Friday familiar with Zulu’s misconduct said Zanu (PF) is entitled to conclude that the inflammatory and false report in the ANC newsletter was mischievously planted to bolster Mr Tsvangirai’s dossier in a misguided effort to rescue his reputation.
Said the diplomat: “What raises eyebrows about the whole saga is that the claims in the ANC newsletter last week came on the back of similarly offensive remarks the previous week when hostile media reported Zulu as having called the decision by the Zanu (PF) Politburo to stick to the holding of elections in 2011 as 租ay dreaming’.
“Surely, even if she believes it, she has no right or authority to say that in the media, given the fact that the holding of elections in Zimbabwe in 2011 is a GPA position and not a Zanu (PF) declaration. We expect officials in the facilitation team such as Zulu to know this otherwise what are they facilitating if they are ignorant of such a fundamental issue?”
Highly placed sources in the ANC told this paper that many complaints have been raised in the party not only about Zulu’s apparent abuse of her position as an official in the facilitation team but also her compromised objectivity following widespread whispers in the party about her very close friendship and political links with Eleanor Sisulu. Sisulu is a Zimbabwean who is married to Mark Sisulu, the SA Speaker of Parliament. She is a well-known MDC-T activist and key fundraiser in SA.
The ANC sources said Zulu and Sisulu have had countless strategic meetings with Mr Tsvangirai in SA, adding that these meetings have invariably been ahead of key Sadc summits on Zimbabwe.
Observers say the way Zulu has behaved under the cover of the Sadc facilitation process has complicated President Zuma’s work as a neutral facilitator and that, in turn, has raised concerns among Sadc leaders who do not want the respected regional body to be dragged into the mud of regime change politics by partisan and reckless SA officials who are not accountable to Sadc.