Politics

Ramaphosa appoints Mbete, Mufamadi as special envoys to Zimbabwe

Ramaphosa appoints Mbete, Mufamadi as special envoys to Zimbabwe

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Baleka Mbete and Dr Sydney Mufamadi as his special envoys to Zimbabwe.

The Presidency in a statement on Thursday evening said that the move followed reports of "difficulties that the Republic of Zimbabwe is experiencing".

The special envoys are expected to engage the Zimbabwean government and relevant stakeholders to identify possible ways in which South Africa can assist it.

Pressure has been mounting on the South African government to speak out against the alleged human rights violations meted out against protestors in Zimbabwe.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has come under fire from some quarters for expressing his concern over the blast in Beirut while keeping mum on the unfolding political crisis just beyond our borders.

From prominent political figures to ordinary citizens, thousands of people across the world have strongly condemned the Zimbabwe government’s response to protesters.

In various footage shared widely on social media, Zimbabwean security forces could be seen giving a heavy-handed response to the protesters.

Running battles between police and demonstrators in Harare have sometimes ended in bloodshed, with unarmed citizens brutally beaten.

Earlier on Thursday, South Africa's International Relations Department said that discussions still needed to take place to flesh out the nature of the assistance South Africa could provide to Zimbabwe.

Mbete, the former deputy president of South Africa, former National Assembly Speaker and former chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC), and Mufamadi, a former Cabinet minister, will leave for Zimbabwe as soon as arrangement are made, the Presidency said.

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