SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande has called for a frank discussion on the Zimbabwean crisis, saying developments in that country directly impact on South Africa. He was speaking at the end of his party’s online Central Committee meeting in Johannesburg.
The SACP’s online Central Committee meeting:
Earlier, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangwagwa said he told President Cyril Ramaphosa by telephone that there was no crisis in his country – despite international concern about the crackdown on dissidents by the ZANU-PF government.
Nzimande says it will be misleading to deny that there is a crisis in our northern neighbour.
“The Central Committee expressed solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe, many of whom found themselves with no other option but to leave or flee the country. South Africa is host to most of them, and is, in many ways, directed impacted by the crisis in Zimbabwe. The assertions that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe are nothing but a denial of the self-evident truth. In fact, you don’t even have to go Zimbabwe to see the crisis; you only have to go to our informal settlements in South Africa to see how many Zimbabweans, who are trying to make an honest living for their families, have had to come to South Africa to make a living because of the crisis we have there.”
ANC trip to Zimbabwe
The Freedom Front Plus (FF+) said earlier on Sunday that the African National Congress (ANC) delegation that went to Zimbabwe to have a meeting with their counterpart Zanu-PF broke the lockdown regulations. The FF-Plus also wants the ANC to pay back the cost of the trip to Zimbabwe, which its delegation undertook on a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) military jet.
The ANC delegation to Zimbabwe took a military jet:
The ANC delegation led by party Secretary-General Ace Magashule, met with officials from ZANU-PF this week following allegations of human rights violations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.
President Ramaphosa has given Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 48 hours to give reasons why she shared a flight to Harare Zimbabwe with a senior ANC delegation.
According to FF+ leader Pieter Groenewald, his party has laid two complaints and wants an explanation on how Home Affairs gave authorisation for ANC members to leave the country on a trip under lockdown.
”I already submitted a complaint to the Pubic Protector and I also submitted questions in Parliament because I want to see what the cost is and the ANC will have to pay that costs. They cannot misuse taxpayers’ money to promote and enhance party political aims and with counterparts in Zimbabwe. Secondly, they have violated the lockdown regulations. The regulations are very clear that only the Minister for Home Affairs may authorise such visit to another country over international borders and it is also clear that it is only permitted in cases for instance if there is an emergency medical attention for a life threatening condition or for evacuation of a South African National, or the repatriation of of a foreign national to his or her country of nationality or for permanent residence.”
The DA made a similar call.
“Since when do the jets of the air force give lifts to friends and colleagues and cadres? That is not the intention, not what the legislation says or what the constitution says. There must be separation between party and state, and this is certainly blurring the lines. It smells like corruption. I think it is very important that the commander in chief must show his leadership and he must reprimand the minister; he must come out and apologize to the country. He is not only the commander in chief of the SANDF, he is the President and he is also the leader of the ANC,” said party Spokesperson on Defence Kobus Marais.