SA Foreign Affairs Dept Says a Whole Lot of Nothing About Zimbabwe
So many syllables, so little content. The ongoing situation in Zimbabwe is the elephant in the room. Every so often, Zimbabwean ruler Robert Mugabe does something egregious enough to draw international attention and Zim's neighbors lay low. Then something sexier happens elsewhere and we all forget about it. Looks like that pattern is continuing...
Zimbabwe's problems should be solved by the people of that country, the South African Foreign Affairs Department said on Tuesday.
"We have constantly maintained that the solutions to the problems of Zimbabwe will be resolved by the people of Zimbabwe," spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said.
Mamoepa was speaking two days after it was reported that police had arrested and assaulted Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was among a number of people who tried to hold a protest prayer meeting in Harare on Sunday. One protester was shot dead by police and scores of others were arrested.
Mamoepa said the department had noted the current development and was monitoring the situation very closely.
"Whatever matters of mutual concern exist, the government will raise this through existing bilateral mutual mechanisms that exist between South Africa and Zimbabwe," he said.
The South African government has been criticised for its "quiet diplomacy" towards Zimbabwe under the repressive rule of President Robert Mugabe.
Meanwhile, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) condemned in the "strongest possible terms" the violence in Zimbabwe and South Africa's response to it. Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said Mamoepa's response was "shamefully weak".