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South African Loan to Zimbabwe Raises Many Questions

Confirmation that the South African government might lend Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe’s administration hundreds of millions of U.S. dollars quickly prompted South Africa’s leading opposition party to say it will demand answers in parliament.

The Democratic Alliance said it will table a motion in parliament to demand details of the loan discussions from President Thabo Mbeki and his cabinet.

Correspondent Bernard Mandizvidza of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe filed this report from Johannesburg about the domestic political implications of the proposal.

Given South Africa’s uneven record of success in tempering the policies of President Mugabe, the prospect of such a massive loan to Harare raises many questions.

Reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA’s Studio 7 for Zimbabwe asks with political analyst Obri Mashiq of Johannesburg whether such a credit facility once put in place would be likely to give President Mbeki greater leverage in dealing with Mr. Mugabe.

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