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SADC Meeting on Zimbabwe Opens in South Africa

  • Scott Bobb
  • Ntungamili Nkomo
  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Southern African leaders gathered Monday for a summit in South Africa in an effort to revive the stalled power-sharing process. The government of President Robert Mugabe said he will move to form a government unilaterally - without the opposition Movement for Democratic Change formation of Morgan Tsvangirai - if the talks failed.

VOA's Scott Bobb reported from Johannesburg.

Correspondent Benedict Nhlapho of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbawe reported from Pretoria or Tswane on developments at the summit site at the Union Buildings.

For an analytical view, reporter Ntungamili Nkomo turned to Siphamandla Zondi of the Institute for Global Dialogue in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Sources in Pretoria said a number of people at the Union Buildings summit site were injured when police fired rubber bullets to disperse a crowd of demonstrators, sparking a stampede. About 25 people were treated for injuries at the Tswane District Hospital, the sources said.

Some demonstrators who attempted to submit a petition to South African President Motlanthe were briefly detained by police.

The protest was organized by the Save Zimbabwe Now Campaign which represents more than 15 organizations demanding an end to the Zimbabwe crisis and resolution of the talks.

Reverend Mufaro Hove, patron of the Revolutionary Youth Movement of Zimbabwe in South Africa, one of the injured, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that some of the injured did not seek medical care for fear of being deported as they lack legal status in the country.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...