SA could have done 'much more' to save me: Mugabe

Robert Mugabe. (File: AP)
Robert Mugabe. (File: AP)

Harare - Former Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe says South Africa could have done "much more" to save him politically during last year's military takeover.

The 94-year-old made the remarks in an interview with the private Zimbabwe Independent paper at his Blue Roof mansion in Harare.

'Betrayed' by neighbours

Asked if he felt betrayed by his neighbours Mugabe said: "In a sense, yes." But he conceded that none of Zimbabwe's neighbours apart from South Africa had the capacity to intervene.

"South Africa could have done much more. It did not have to send an army, but just to engage," he said. 

Former president Jacob Zuma sent his defence and security ministers to Harare on November 15, hours after the military took control of the country and placed Mugabe under house arrest.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news from around the continent by subscribing to our FREE newsletter, Hello Africa.

FOLLOW News24 Africa on Twitter and Facebook.

Mugabe said the South African envoys "gave a false impression that all was okay [and that] they had spoken not just to us but also to the soldiers, and then gave out that there was no need for intervention", Mugabe added.

He said it was then that other countries in the region "just sat on their laurels and they said ah well South Africa says there’s no need [to intervene]".

Last week Mugabe gave his first press conference since his resignation on November 21. He told journalists that the army's intervention was "a coup" and that his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa was in power "illegally".

Those remarks have caused anger within the ruling Zanu-PF party, which has threatened to expel him and strip him of the privileges he enjoys as a former head of state.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
36% - 1917 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
27% - 1445 votes
No, I don't think they need it
37% - 1963 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
14.56
(-0.55)
ZAR/GBP
20.57
(-0.33)
ZAR/EUR
17.72
(-0.49)
ZAR/AUD
11.62
(-0.47)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.35)
Gold
1792.21
(-0.59)
Silver
27.84
(-0.24)
Platinum
1257.00
(-0.17)
Brent Crude
66.41
(+2.64)
Palladium
2404.18
(-0.98)
All Share
67431.63
(+1.86)
Top 40
61916.95
(+1.93)
Financial 15
12474.09
(+0.96)
Industrial 25
87059.43
(+0.59)
Resource 10
69512.64
(+4.16)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo