Malawi: Zuma seeks peaceful transition

2012-04-07 16:30

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma sent his condolences to the people of Malawi on Saturday following the confirmation of the death of their president Bingu wa Mutharika.

"As the government and the people of South Africa, we reach out in our thoughts and prayers to the people of Malawi during this difficult time of mourning the death of President Mutharika," Zuma said.

He also called on the people of Malawi to remain calm.

"We are confident that Malawi's democratic institutions will ensure a peaceful and orderly transition," he said.

Malawi's government on Saturday confirmed the president's death at age 78 from a heart attack after two days of denial or silence.

Development

The DA said Mutharika would be remembered for bringing development to his country.

"The president will be remembered for his guiding role in bringing economic growth and development to Malawi, for his leadership in the African Union, and for his commitment to a prosperous future for Africa," DA leader Helen Zille's chief of staff Geordin Hill-Lewis said in a statement.

"His ethos and vision for the continent are best summed up in his own call for "Africa to develop Africa".

Malawian officials told AFP that wa Mutharika suffered a heart attack at State House at 11:15 am Thursday, and was pronounced dead upon arrival at a military hospital in South Africa the same day.

Under the Malawi constitution, Vice President Joyce Banda is next in line for the presidency.

"We wish the Acting President, Joyce Banda, all of the best in her difficult task of leading Malawi in the interim period until democratic elections can be held," said Hill-Lewis.

- SAPA

Read more on:    da  |  bingu wa mutharika  |  helen zille  |  jacob zuma  |  joyce banda  |  malawi  |  southern africa
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