South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Zimbabwe Government’s response to protests has been heavy-handed.
Sisulu said the response by President Mnangagwa’s administration only brings negativity to a country that needs a lot of support. She said this at the Taj Palace hotel in New Delhi, India, on Friday. Said Sisulu:
We have expressed our concerns about the levels of violence and how [the police] deal with any challenges on the streets. In our press briefings every time we have talked about Zimbabwe, we have mentioned the fact that we are unhappy. It only brings negativity to a country that needs a lot of support. They have acknowledged that they have been heavy-handed.
She, however, said South Africa will do whatever is in its power to help Zimbabwe. She also called on the removal of sanctions saying they do not help Zimbabwe. Said Sisulu:
We have promised them we will do whatever is in our power, within our means of course, to [assist them]. They have resources that Africa can benefit from. We have engaged with Zimbabwe and we are determined to assist the country out of its present problem. Those sanctions that were put on Zimbabwe at the time of former president [Robert] Mugabe have not been lifted and they do not help the economy of Zimbabwe. When President [Emmerson] Mnangagwa got into power, one of the first things he said was that Zimbabwe was open for business. But for as long as there are sanctions on Zimbabwe it makes it difficult for them to raise the necessary money for them to recover from the losses they’ve had.