By Staff Reporter
THE South African government which recently admitted there were indeed economic and political challenges in Zimbabwe Sunday joined its northern neighbour in calling for the removal of targeted sanctions imposed by the West.
The Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor, in a statement, said South Africa reaffirmed its support to the SADC Heads of State and Government Summit held in Tanzania in August 2019 which called for the unconditional removal of sanctions in Zimbabwe.
“25 October, marks the day in which the Member States of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) united in their resolve in calling for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe,” she said.
“The SADC Heads of State and Government held in Tanzania in August 2019, declared 25 October as the day to stand in solidarity with Zimbabwe, an event in which SADC Member States collectively voice their disapproval and condemnation of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe through various activities and platforms until sanctions are lifted.
“In this regard, the South African Government reaffirms its support to the SADC Summit’s decision to call for the unconditional and immediate removal of sanctions against the Republic of Zimbabwe,” said Pandor.
However, the UK, the US, and the EU have dismissed suggestions that sanctions are to blame for Zimbabwe’s economic and political crisis.
Instead, the West has urged the Zimbabwe government to implement political and economic reforms as well as uphold the rule of law for the restrictive measures to be lifted.
Last August, Pandor called for external intervention in Zimbabwe to end the political and economic crisis as it was also seriously affecting South Africa. The minister said her country was ready to intervene and assist.
“We all know that Zimbabwe has various economic challenges and their current situation impacts South Africa because many Zimbabweans come to seek a livelihood in South Africa,” she said.
However, President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration insists there is no crisis in Zimbabwe but mere challenges being faced by any other world country.
But Pandor said although South Africa respected Zimbabwe’s sovereignty, the reality of the crisis in the country was evident at the border posts where thousands of Zimbabweans were trying to cross into the neighbouring country for economic reasons.