‘South Africa working for Zimbabwe settlement’June 26th, 2008 - 8:42 pm ICT by IANS
Cape Town, June 26 (IANS) The South African government has launched political and diplomatic efforts to get the feuding parties in Zimbabwe to agree to a settlement, BuaNews said Thursday quoting a government spokesperson. Briefing reporters on Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, spokesperson Themba Maseko said minister for local government Sydney Mufamadi has been in talks with Zimbabwe’s opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the ruling Zanu-PF.
“The South African government is working round the clock, in its capacity as a facilitator, to get the parties to agree to a political settlement sooner rather than later,” he said.
South African President Thabo Mbeki has been entrusted by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) with the task of facilitating reconciliation talks between the the Zanu-PF and the MDC.
South Africa shares the concerns of the world community over the accelerating violence and human rights abuses in Zimbabwe as the country prepares to hold a presidential run-off election Friday, he said.
“Government urges both parties to continue to engage in talks to find a political solution that will be in the best interest of all Zimbabweans,” the official said.
An agreement is the only possible solution, Maseka said.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela spoke out on the Zimbabwean crisis, with the BBC quoting him as saying that he saw a “tragic failure of leadership” in Zimbabwe.
“Nearer to home we have seen the outbreak of violence against fellow Africans in our own country and the tragic failure of leadership in our neighbouring Zimbabwe,” Mandela told a dinner in London, which was organised to celebrate the South African leader’s 90th birthday that falls on July 18.
Mandela’s intervention was welcomed by British commentators Thursday, who said his remarks had made the international isolation of the regime of Robert Mugabe complete.
Mandela, who left politics nine years ago, had been criticised in some quarters for failing to speak out against Mugabe.
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