Zuma posts old allies to new places

2012-04-29 10:00
Mandy Rossouw and Carien du Plessis
Former ANC Youth League ­secretary-general Vuyiswa Tulelo and ANC veteran Allan Boesak are earmarked for ambassadorial ­positions, City Press has learnt.

Tulelo, who left the youth league ­­­­­­­­­­when her term expired, will be posted to Chicago later this year
as consul-general and is currently receiving training for the post.

Boesak will have to wait until the 2014 elections are over before he sets sail for greener pastures, as the ANC wants to pull him in to help the party win back the ­Western Cape.

Both have been attending functions hosted by the department of international relations this year, the latest being a breakfast event hosted by the department in Cape Town after the budget vote speech of Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Boesak has previously indicated he was asked to take over the South African mission to the United ­Nations, but eventually it was decided that he stay in South Africa. He also joined Cope, which soured relations with the ruling party.

“There has been discussion with Boesak about ambassadorial positions, and I know people are talking to him, but nothing is concrete yet,” a diplomatic source told City Press.

A well-placed ANC source confirmed Boesak was again in the running to become ambassador, but he first will have to pay his dues by being part of the ANC’s election effort in 2014 in the Western Cape.

“He will not necessarily be campaigning as a party leader, but as a preacher and a lecturer,” the source said. Boesak is currently an extraordinary professor at the ­University of the Free State.

Both Boesak and Tulelo have declined to talk about their futures.

Former safety and security minister and now presidential adviser Charles Nqakula is being posted to Mozambique and former Limpopo premier Sello Moloto was moved from Maputo to Finland.

It is understood he was thought to be too inexperienced for a country with which South Africa wants to have much closer relations.

“It’s not that he was not doing well, we just realised a first-time ambassador needs to be eased into the system, and Finland is an easy posting. Mozambique is very important to us, given all it has to offer, so we need someone strong there,” the diplomatic source said.

Tulelo told City Press: “I’m enjoying being a mummy now so I told the ANC later in the year I’ll tell them what I want to do.”

Political analyst Mohau Pheko was moved from a post as high commissioner to Canada to ambassador in Japan.

Shortly before being appointed as high commissioner Pheko was fired as a Sunday Times columnist because of plagiarism.

Veteran ambassador Gert ­Grobler was moved from Japan to Madagascar because it was felt that an experienced diplomat was needed to help handle the delicate situation in Madagascar.

Recently former Democratic ­Alliance MP Douglas Gibson ­returned from his posting as ­ambassador to Thailand, while former DA parliamentary leader Sandra Botha was due to return at the end of 2012 from her posting to Prague in the Czech Republic.

The department of international relations refused to comment, ­saying ambassadorial positions were the prerogative of President Jacob Zuma.