Ace Magashule. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU
Ace Magashule. Picture: SANDILE NDLOVU

After years of complicit inactivity — also known as "silent diplomacy" — in response to goings-on in Zimbabwe, SA finally took a step forward last month, when President Cyril Ramaphosa sent special envoys Sydney Mufamadi and Baleka Mbete to suss out the situation across the border.

It was a damp squib. After promising to discuss matters with relevant stakeholders, the envoys apparently left Zimbabwe without having met a single opposition leader or rights activist.

Clearly "relevant stakeholders" consisted of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and government and Zanu-PF lickspittles who are of the misguided opinion that "there is no crisis in Zimbabwe". It’s as if the abductions and abuses don’t exist.

Now the ANC has resolved to send its own delegation to Zimbabwe, this one headed by the party’s paragon of virtue and Pierneef enthusiast, Ace Magashule.

Just imagine the outcome of a meeting between Magashule and Mnangagwa. Will they launch a regional body for bureaucratic villains? A league for the oppression of journalists? How many cats will be stroked to a soundtrack of evil cackling? The mind boggles.

At the least we can expect another whitewash — a grandiose political play that legitimises the gross abuse of power. SA is well on its way to replacing silent diplomacy with active ambivalence.

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