South Africa’s International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor has criticised the Zimbabwean government for not fully cooperating with the envoys sent by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“We have to work with Zimbabwe in order to address that economic situation and find a way of helping them to reverse the current situation. There is also a political problem and its undeniable and the people of Zimbabwe have to find a solution to it. We sent envoys there because there have been huge concern about abuse of human rights and imprisonment of opposition MPs and many other concerns directed at the Presidency and my department. We agreed that the President would appoint three envoys to visit Zimbabwe. We asked that they meet the government and President Mnangagwa and to meet other stakeholders, NGOs and the opposition. They unfortunately the full expectation was not met in the first visit. This is something we should keep working on. Because as i say, the situation of Zimbabwe impacts on South Africa. We respect the sovereignty of Zimbabwe. It is very important. We have to continue to engage. there is a reality because of our border posts, there are many Zimbabwean who wish to come to South Africa and mainly for economic reasons. So it is in South Africa’s interests. If they feel that we cannot help we will hear from them but my understanding is that the discussion were cordial and the desire of President Ramaphosa that there be meetings with other stakeholders other than the government was communicated by the envoys.” Pandor said
It is not the first time that Pandor has spoken and acted on Zimbabwe. In 2019 the Minister hosted a symposium on Zimbabwe economic recovery.
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It remains to be seen if the government of Zimbabwe will be receptive to assistance by the South African government.