JOHANNESBURG -- President Jacob Zuma's recent appointment of a team of envoys to monitor the unity government in neighboring Zimbabwe could mark a departure from the quiet diplomacy employed by South Africa under former President Thabo Mbeki.
Zuma took over the mediation role in the Zimbabwean crisis last month, and appointed a three-person team two weeks ago to oversee the functioning of Zimbabwe's national unity government. Established on Feb. 15, the coalition government in Harare has been threatened by sharp differences between the country's two main political rivals, President Robert Mugabe's ZANU (PF) party and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's principal MDC formation.
The South African team is headed by Charles Nqakula, a former defense minister who is also Zuma's political adviser. The other two members are Mac Maharaj, a former transport minister who is currently South Africa's special envoy to Zimbabwe, and Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma's foreign policy adviser.