South Africa govt says it cannot interfere in Zimbabwean affairs

Naledi Pandor

South African International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor was interviewed by SABC’s Sherwin Bryce-Pease on the issue of the ANC’s government with Zimbabwe’s ZANU PF.

Read the interview below:

The Government is engaged with the Government of Zimbabwe, not just at Government level, we also have party to party, we’ve begun discussions, you’re I’m sure aware that the Government of Zimbabwe and its governing party are saying there are not problems in their country and we are arguing that actually there are difficulties because we have hundreds of thousands if not millions of Zimbabweans in South Africa.

Many of whom indicate that they’re here because the situation of economic progress is dire in their country and so we do think there is a basis for us to have a collaboration to see how we might assist Zimbabwe to achieve economic recovery and a level of stability that allows that people of Zimbabwe to feel they’re able to return to their country and contribute to its development.

But that can only happen when the Govt of Zimbabwe openly says to SA we do think we should have a conversation about development. We cannot impose ourselves on anyone, and when I say that there are many commentators who believe I am running away from a direct intervention but when we have sought help, we have openly gone out and said, look we have a problem in this area, could we talk to country X or organisation B and look at how we resolve our problems, only when you reach that level of openness and admission that you begin to address challenges that confront you.

Sherwin: Could you be more publicly critical of what is happening in your northern neighbour?

Well, we have when I indicate that we are ready to have a discussion through which we would provide any assistance required, but when a leader says there are no problems, who am I a mere Minister of International Relations to say well, Mister President, I know differently. It’s just not done, it’s not diplomacy.