SOUTH AFRICAN President Jacob Zuma yesterday denied reports that he will inform a weekend Sadc summit that his mediation role on Zimbabwe was over.
Report by Nqobile Bhebhe
In a statement, presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj yesterday said the reports were inaccurate.
“The presidency distances itself from this rumour and rejects the utilisation of gossip and rumour to communicate a serious matter as South Africa’s mediation role in the neighbouring Zimbabwe,” Maharaj said in a statement posted on the South African President’s website.
The Herald, quoting South Africa’s City Press, reported yesterday that Zuma would tell a Sadc summit in Malawi that his job as a mediator in Zimbabwe was done.
The South African President replaced his predecessor Thabo Mbeki in mediating over the political crisis in Zimbabwe in 2009.
“The presidency has noted inaccurate media reports to the effect that President Jacob Zuma is expected to tell his fellow regional leaders at a summit in Malawi this weekend that he has accomplished his mission in Zimbabwe,” Maharaj said.
“We wish to clarify that should President Zuma or the South African government have any position on Zimbabwe, such information is communicated directly through to Sadc, or publicly when necessary.”
Zimbabwe is expected to be on the agenda of this weekend Sadc summit, where the outgoing chairperson of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete is expected to give an update on last month’s elections, which were endorsed as credible by a 573-member Sadc observer mission.
MDC-T has indicated that it will send a dossier containing proof of alleged poll irregularities to Zuma ahead of the summit.
According to the dossier accompanying outgoing Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s application, thousands of people were denied the opportunity to register as voters. Traditional leaders and military personnel forced people to associate themselves with Zanu PF and thousands were denied the right to vote.
Botswana President Ian Khama last week called for a forensic audit of the electoral process in order to see if there were any shortcomings or irregularities that could have affected the poll outcome.