Cabinet supports Zuma's 'intervention' in Zimbabwe situation

2017-11-16 12:19
President Jacob Zuma with Robert Mugabe. (Phill Magakoe/AFP)

President Jacob Zuma with Robert Mugabe. (Phill Magakoe/AFP)

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Cape Town – Cabinet supports President Jacob Zuma's "intervention" in his capacity as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) chair in response to "the Zimbabwean situation".

On Thursday morning, Communications Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane delivered a short briefing on Cabinet's meeting on Wednesday.

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"He (Zuma) has sent special envoys, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Ms Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and State Security Minister, Adv Bongani Bongo," the Cabinet statement said.

Zuma elevated Bongo from the ANC backbenches to Cabinet only a month ago as successor to David Mahlobo who has been reshuffled to the energy portfolio.

"They are to meet with President Robert Mugabe and the Zimbabwean Defence Force. Thereafter, proceed to brief President João Lourenço as the Chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

'Unfolding political developments'

"Further updates on this matter will be communicated by the presidency."

This follows a situation described as a "coup" in Zimbabwe, after the Zimbabwean Defence Force put Mugabe under military guard and seized control of the state broadcaster.

Shortly after the briefing, the presidency released a statement saying that the ministerial meeting of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation will meet on Thursday in Gaborone, Botswana to discuss "the unfolding political developments in the Republic of Zimbabwe".

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The meeting will be attended by ministers from Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and South Africa. It will be co-chaired by the Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane and the Angolan Defence Minister Salviano de Jesus Sequeira.

"It is expected that the Ministers will make recommendations to the heads of state and government on the political situation in Zimbabwe," the presidency's statement read.

Zuma will visit Botswana later on Thursday ahead of Friday's 4th Bi-National Commission session between South Africa and Botswana.

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Read more on:    sadc  |  robert mugabe  |  jacob zuma  |  zimbabwe  |  diplomacy

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