SA sets eyes on Zimbabwe

11 August 2020 | Africa

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK



African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Ace Magashule has condemned the state-sanctioned brutality and rights violations in neighbouring Zimbabwe, saying it was likely to spill over to South Africa.

In a television interview, Magashule confirmed that South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was in talks with Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“We will assist the Zimbabweans to stabilise their economy. We have a role to play, as South Africa, as African Union and as ANC,” he said.

Ramaphosa is currently serving as the chair of the African Union.



Destabilising

Magashule warned that the situation in Zimbabwe could spill over into South Africa and said as a liberation movement the ANC could not condone political violence.

“We said black lives matter, lives of human beings' matter, Zimbabwean lives matter. What we see there on television is uncalled for. We have talked to some of the people who are exiled, who have run away from Zimbabwe,” he said. At the same time, the Southern African Anti-Corruption Network (SAACoN) condemned the “heavy-handedness” of Zimbabwean authorities.

It cited the brutal crackdown on anti-corruption protestors and the arbitrary arrests of investigative journalist Hopewell Chi'nono and opposition politician Jacob Ngarivhume.

SAACoN further called on SADC governments, civil society and citizens to stand in solidarity with the citizens of Zimbabwe and urged the Zimbabwean authorities to enact a whistle-blower protection framework.

SAACoN includes the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) in Namibia.

“Repressive actions of Zimbabwean security authorities have become increasingly widespread and violent and have included arbitrary arrests and detentions, kidnappings, beatings and torture,” the letter stated.



Respectful

The executive director of the Namibian ministry of international relations and cooperation, Rebecca Iyambo, on Friday said Namibia respects SADC institutions, including the SADC organ on politics, defence and security cooperation, which has the authority to recommend regional protocols.

“Namibia will respect and abide by those SADC protocols. Within SADC we have mechanisms in place established to deal with issues affecting member states in between summits, such as regional integration, economic development and peace and security,” she said.

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