South African President Thabo Mbeki was to meet with officials of the Movement for Democratic Change on the weekend. This would be the first meeting between the region’s dominant political figure and Zimbabwe’s opposition since the MDC suspended discussions with South Africa following March general elections in protest over what it said was biased mediation on Mr. Mbeki’s part.
South African Foreign Ministry spokesman Ronnie Moemepa confirmed that a meeting was scheduled, but said he did not know which MDC representatives would be meeting Mr. Mbeki. Analyst Chris Maroleng of the Institute of Security Studies in South Africa said Mr. Mbeki’s new approach to the MDC means he understands it is a key element in any resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis.
Mr. Maroleng spoke with reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyele of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe from Johannesburg.