The South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) has called on government to take a firm stance against Zimbabwe’s leaders, following recent allegations of human rights violations.

Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party has received widespread criticism after videos and pictures, circulated on social media, showed state security agents abusing citizens.

At the weekend, South African envoys met with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at State House – without engaging the opposition MDC-Alliance.

Saftu General-Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says South Africa needs to put pressure on the Zimbabwean government to make changes.

“Until the South African government stands firmly for the democratisation of that country, for the opening of the political space, the freedom of the media and ordinary people to lead a normal life and to organise themselves, we will go nowhere.”

He adds: “The SA government has been treating the regime with friendliness, but it is time for the President to pick up the phone and say to Mnangagwa – we will not allow your Ministers to come here and get treatment when you have destroyed your health system there, and when Zimbabweans are trapped in a situation where the hospitals have no doctors or nurses.”

Special envoys

Special envoys to Zimbabwe, Baleka Mbete and Syndey Mufamadi, were appointed by President Cyril Rampahosa last week after calls for South Africa to assess recent incidents of alleged human rights violations.

However, the Zimbabwean opposition party, the MDC Alliance, claims it has been snubbed by them.

In the video below is National Patriotic Front Spokesperson Jealousy Mbizvo Mawarire: