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With S. Africa's Mbeki Politically Beset, Zimbabwe Crisis Talks On Hold

Talks between Zimbabwe's ruling party and opposition failed to resume Wednesday as expected with no date set for their resumption, raising concern that South African President Thabo Mbeki has become too preoccupied with his own political survival to concentrate on breaking the deadlock which has developed in the negotiations.

Sources in Pretoria said Mr. Mbeki was preparing for another showdown with Jacob Zuma, who has replaced him as president of the ruling African National Congress.

Mr. Mbeki could face trouble at a meeting Monday of the ANC national executive, at which supporters of Zuma are expected to accuse him of engineering the latest corruption charges brought against Zuma by a South African prosecutor.

Senior Zimbabwean opposition officials have voiced concern at the delays, saying the South African political tussle is hindering resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis.

Senior Researcher Chris Maroleng of the Institute for Security Studies in South Africa told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that Mr. Mbeki has his hands full and may not be able to successfully conclude the Zimbabwe talks.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...