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South African President Zuma Promises Impartiality in Mediating Zimbabwe Political Crisis

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

Mr. Zuma’s remarks appeared aimed at reassuring the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe that he did not agreed with recent statements by African National Congress youth leader Julius Malema saying the ANC firmly backed ZANU-PF

South African President Jacob Zuma has promised to continue his mediation efforts in Zimbabwe with the “necessary seriousness and sensitivity” and impartiality to resolve the outstanding issues troubling the national unity government in Harare.

In a weekend statement, President Zuma confirmed he had received a report on the long-running talks within the unity government and pledged impartiality as he seeks resolution to the political impasse.

Mr. Zuma’s statement appeared aimed at reassuring the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change in Zimbabwe that he did not agreed with recent statements by African National Congress youth leader Julius Malema saying the ANC firmly backs the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.

"We cannot and will not side with any one of the parties to the exclusion of others," Mr. Zuma said, repudiating Malema's declaration. "We will continue to facilitate resolution of the impasse in Zimbabwe and to treat all parties with respect."

Zuma aide Lindiwe Zulu told VOA that Mr. Zuma, who met with U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington on Sunday, will further brief him on developments in Zimbabwe, most likely on the margins of the nuclear summit which opened there Monday.

Political commentator Brilliant Mhlanga told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo it was imperative for Mr. Zuma to renounce Malema’s statements so as to maintain credibility as Zimbabwe mediator.

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