Zuma's secret deal with dictator

JOHANNESBURG - The Central African Republic’s ousted dictator Francois Bozize says President Jacob Zuma’s broken promises made during a secret back-room deal led to his downfall.

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times in Paris last week, the deposed strongman said that he sent his son, Jean Francis Bozize, then the CAR’s Defence minister, to Pretoria in December to cut a deal with Zuma to send enough South African troops and weapons to halt the Seleka rebel advance on the capital, Bangui — but far fewer than promised arrived.

He also said he held frantic talks for three hours with Zuma just three days before Bangui fell, to remind him to honour their back-room deal.

He said he held Chad’s President Idriss Deby, his former friend who backed the coup that put Bozize in power in 2003, personally responsible for the deaths of 15 South African soldiers when his troops let rebel columns advance on Bangui without putting up a fight.

Bozize said he is lobbying for support to return to power, hinting that he might use force if necessary.

The original defence agreement between South Africa and the CAR, negotiated by former president Thabo Mbeki, provided for 28 troops to be sent to Bangui in 2007 as military trainers and to beef up Bozize’s presidential guard.

This deal was secretly renewed for another five years in December, when Bozize sent his son to meet Zuma. Another 200 troops arrived in Bangui in January.

But he said the number of troops sent fell far short of the number promised by Zuma.

Comments (7)

Zuma and Mbeki destroyed Zim hopes and those of our children

LOLA - 26 August 2013

At least Mbeki played his cards face up..now the Zuma fellow like Putin in Russia and Italy's Berlusconi you never know where you stand with him. I think when dealing dont look at the smile and dancing shoes..watch what his hands are doing. If they are not in your pocket they are on your throat..in my book he is the fastest man on earth and that Jamaican guy Bolt better be really careful. Zuma is a genius who appears to have recognised that politics is a game played by crooks and his mind is made up he will not trust anyone except himself... can you really blame him for this???

gutter poet - 26 August 2013

The cat is out of the hat. What deals did you, Zuma, secretly go into with Mugabe about the 31 July elections because you rushed into congratulating him without even carefully examining all the essential detail. You even silenced Zulu. Why? Did you gear to lose something or be exposed as is happening now?

Honaiwo Kwedu - 26 August 2013

To me the two South African Presidents from the ANC, a liberation movement did well on ZANU PF' s Zimbabwe. The ANC may not like the way ZANU PF manages it's own internal politics, but the ANC needs ZANU PF's leadership on economic renaissance in Africa. What ZANU PF has done will make it easy for any lead nation on African renaissance to lead the way, be it SA, Nigeria, Ghana or Zimbabwe itself. So SA' diplomacy must not destroy the example although it may not like the makers of the example. Remember Zimbabwe'spolicy of reconciliation offered the ANC an easy transitional mechanism to ape. Now Mandela is beng celebrated for the aping more than the originator of the product. Robert has done it again. What Africa and Africans want us not empty political sloganeering but real and tangible economic space for it's indigenous segments of it's population. Africans want real and true love from it's leadership. The British Empire spread across the world as the leadership sought to widen sources of economic comfort for it's citizens. Today the royal institution exists visibly in Britain as Britons celebrate the vision their monarchy had for them and the generations to follow. A vision for the common African man is what Africans want and Mugabe has spelt it out clear. So ZUMA and Mbeki would e judged by history if they worked to subvert the legacy Mugabe is going to leave for Africa.

Kudakwashe Munenharo - 26 August 2013

What legacy? Taking of land and companies was done well before Zim's independence in other African countries. I can mention Zambia, Kenya, Uganda under Idi just to mention a few. Mugabe's legacy is follow blindly policies that failed in other contries.

ndauyawo - 31 August 2013

well said kudakwashe

trust nzou - 31 August 2013

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