EFF: South Africa must offer Mugabe political asylum

Cape Town – The EFF has thrown its weight behind the military in troubled Zimbabwe by calling for a peaceful transition of power and for South Africa to offer President Robert Mugabe political asylum.

"President Mugabe cannot insist on remaining in power even when he is physically incapable of doing so," said the firebrand political party in a statement.

It said that it was high time the southern African country "transits to a post-Mugabe era", adding that "all progressive forces all over the world should support the transition".

The Zimbabwe army, in an unprecedented move, intervened in the country’s political crisis, following an outcry over the ousting of VP Emmerson Mnangagwa, and attempts to force Grace Mugabe to lead the country.

Mugabe and his family have been placed under military guard as the army also took over the state broadcaster earlier, in what many have described as a coup.

Read: 'It's a coup, despite what Zim military says' – analysts

The EFF was of the view that the military must be "encouraged to lead a non-violent transition which will culminate in free, fair and democratic elections, and which will in the process respect the autonomy of the judiciary", said spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

"The ZDF (Zimbabwean Defence Force) should make sure that there is no loss of life during the transition, but should decisively suppress agent provocateurs who will try to undermine the long overdue transition."

The EFF has been calling for Mugabe to step down for over a year, with its leader Julius Malema pleading with Mugabe to step down during a memorial it held in honour of late Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro.

'Pain and destabilisation'

"Zimbabwe has experienced a lot of pain and destabilisation over of the past two decades, lost its currency and displaced millions of its citizens due to economic hardships."

The party said that while it appreciated that some pain in the country once dubbed the "breadbasket of the continent" was due to imperialist actions, a significant part of it was self-inflicted.

The EFF also called on South African authorities to give Mugabe and his family political asylum to help ensure a peaceful transition.

"We must do this to aid peace, allowing Zimbabweans to immediately stabilise their country and institutions for the sustainable civilian rule and a better future," said Ndlozi.

Taking a different view, the Democratic Alliance said military involvement in politics is never to be celebrated, but it called for Mugabe to resign and for the country to hold fresh elections.

ALSO READ: Zimbabwe war vets group wants Mugabe recalled

"This will allow the people of Zimbabwe to choose a new direction for their country, and to free themselves from the tyrannical reign of Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF. True democracy is adhering to the will of the people, not the internal politics and arrangements of liberation movements," DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma, who doubles as the head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), announced that he sent a high level diplomatic team to Harare in light of the developments in Zimbabwe.

"The Special Envoys will also be sent to the Republic of Angola to see President Joao Lourenco, Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security to brief him on the situation," the Presidency said.

It added that Zuma spoke to Mugabe who confirmed that he was confined to his home but indicated that he was fine.

Follow News24's live updates on the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe

Reports indicate that soldiers have taken over Zimbabwe's ZBC state broadcaster, compounding speculation of a coup against President Robert Mugabe, 93. Follow Live updates.

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