Mbeki to stay away from crisis summit on Zimbabwe

June 25th, 2008 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, June 25 (DPA) South African President Thabo Mbeki would not be attending a crisis meeting being held by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Swaziland Wednesday to discuss the presidential run-off in Zimbabwe. “We are at home the whole day. The president is not going,” his spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga said, according to Sapa news agency reports.

Ratshitanga said Mbeki would be in Cape Town Wednesday and as far as he knew, had no scheduled meetings with representatives of Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF or the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

“We have never received an invitation to attend the meeting (in Swaziland’s capital Mbabane). Of course, you would need an invitation to attend a meeting of an organ that you are not a member (of).”

The South African Broadcasting Corporation reported that Swaziland was hosting the meeting to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe.

Wednesday’s meeting has been called by Swaziland’s King Mswati, who chairs the states making up SADC’s safety and security organ, the reports said.

Leaders of Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland were also due to attend the summit.

The MDC has pulled out of Friday’s presidential election run-off between its leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe.

Mbeki has been part of a team that has been attempting to resolve the long-standing political crisis in Zimbabwe.

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