South Africa’s Minister Of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor has said Zimbabwe should accept help because there is an undeniable crisis in Zimbabwe which if left unresolved will affect South Africa as Zimbabweans will flock into South Africa to fend for their daily needs, ZimLive reports.
Pandor was reportedly speaking to Radio 786 this morning when she said:
We all know that Zimbabwe has various economic challenges and that their current situation impacts on South Africa because many Zimbabweans come to seek a livelihood in South Africa. We have to work with Zimbabwe in order to address that economic situation and find a way of helping to reverse the current situation so that the citizens of Zimbabwe can happily return to their country.
There’s a political problem, it’s undeniable, it’s there and the people of Zimbabwe have to find a solution to it. We as South Africa are ready to assist. We sent envoys there because there has been a huge concern about reports of abuse of human rights, imprisonment of opposition MPs and many other concerns which have been directed at the presidency and my department
The Minister diplomatically also shed more light on what could have transpired in the meeting the government had with the envoys who came on a fact-finding mission this week and left without meeting opposition parties. Pandor said they were liaising with the government to let the envoys come and meet other political players which further adds fuel to stories circulating that the government barred the envoys from meeting other political players. Pandor said:
We agreed the president would appoint three envoys and they would visit Zimbabwe and we asked that they meet the president of Zimbabwe but also meet other stakeholders in the opposition, NGOs and so on. Unfortunately, they could not meet the other stakeholders but Zimbabwe has indicated their readiness to facilitate such a visit and we are in discussions with the president about the envoys returning to Zimbabwe to have a wider range of meetings than they were able to have at this first contact.
So, we are not distressed that the full expectation was not met in this first visit. This is something we must continue to work at. As I said, the situation of Zimbabwe impacts on South Africa and so we have to continue meeting with, talking to (the Zimbabweans) and attempting to resolve the problems there in order to address our own situation and focus on the challenges of South Africa
Pandor said South Africa respects Zimbabwe’s sovereignty and was just trying to help find a solution to Zimbabwe’s plight:
We of course respect the sovereignty of Zimbabwe, it’s very important, but there is a reality, go to our border posts and see how many Zimbabweans wish to come to South Africa and mainly for economic reasons.
So, it is in South Africa’s interests, given our current economic situation, that we do continue to have discussions, keep a very dynamic link with Zimbabwe and assure their government that we are not seeking to interfere in their internal matters but we would like to work with them to find a solution that works with their current context