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S. Africa's Zuma Refuses Mugabe Request for Zimbabwe Mediation Team Reshuffle

ZANU-PF accused Mr. Zuma of siding with the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai following his submission of a report to SADC critical of President Mugabe

South African President Jacob Zuma, who has been mediating in the Zimbabwe crisis for the Southern African Development Community since 2009, has indicated that he will not modify his team of facilitators to accommodate proposals for the addition of experts on electoral reform and other issues, or complaints from President Robert Mugabe.

A recent meeting in Livingstone, Zambia, of the SADC troika on politics, defense and security recommended adding a number of experts to Mr. Zuma's facilitation team, including specialists on conflict resolution and electoral systems reform.

The expanded team was supposed to work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee to assist in that body's work of following, evaluating and encouraging full implementation of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing.

But sources in Pretoria say Mr. Zuma will not be expanding facilitation team or making any other changes as demanded by Mr. Mugabe's former ruling ZANU-PF party, which has been unhappy with statements attributed to facilitator Lindiwe Zulu.

ZANU-PF has declared that it will no longer discuss the road map to the next elections in Zimbabwe which Mr. Zuma and the SADC troika have requested, and has rejected calls for reform of the security sector which has been accused of partisanship.

ZANU-PF has also accused Mr. Zuma of siding with the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the smaller MDC wing led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, this after he submitted a report to SADC accusing Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF of stalling on key reforms.

SADC leaders will meet in June in Johannesburg to discuss the Zimbabwe situation.

Lindiwe Zulu, a foreign policy aide to Mr. Zuma, told VOA that the facilitation team cannot be expanded at this point in its mission. Political analyst Trevor Maisiri agreed, saying revamping the facilitation team now would be counterproductive.