Johannesburg – The people of Zimbabwe do not need “PR stunts”, but real action against a totalitarian regime, The People’s Dialogue founder Herman Mashaba said on Saturday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment of Baleka Mbete and Sydney Mufamadi as special envoys to Zimbabwe “is a farcical public relations stunt” aimed at placating those calling for action against the human rights abuses being perpetrated by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime, he said in a statement.
“The people of Zimbabwe do not need Ramaphosa’s PR stunt. They need real action against a totalitarian regime that is subjecting them to the worst kinds of persecution, torture, and oppression.”
As African Union (AU) chairman, Ramaphosa should be leading the charge in denouncing the atrocities being committed in Mnangagwa’s name, and protecting the human rights of the people of Zimbabwe. Instead, Ramaphosa appeared to be following in the footsteps of former president Thabo Mbeki, dispatching envoys “known to be soft on ANC-allied Zanu PF, Mashaba said.
“These are not the actions of a president or a government that believes that ‘human rights should be the core concern of [our] international relations’, nor one that is committed to ‘playing a role in fostering peace and prosperity in the world we share with the community of nations’, as [former president] Nelson Mandela wrote of the New South Africa in 1993,” he said.
It was in the interest of all South Africans to see peace and prosperity in Zimbabwe, South Africa’s economic stability was inherently linked to that of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, and could not afford to be complacent while the situation in Zimbabwe deteriorated.
“I urge the people of South Africa to stand in solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, and to stand against the uncaring ANC which has looked on in silence for too long while our neighbours suffer,” Mashaba said.
African News Agency/ANA