As Zimbabwean and South African politicians celebrated what they characterized as a breakthrough on the crisis in Zimbabwe, former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu of Cape Town put a damper on elation, saying “more forthright measures were needed” to resolve the crisis and that Pretoria's “softly-softly” approach had failed.
Tutu also told the BBC that Africans should feel ashamed at allowing the "desperate" situation in Zimbabwe to continue "without anybody doing anything to try to stop it.”
Earlier this week, Church of England Archbishop John Sentamu also had sharp words for South African President Thabo Mbeki's crisis mediation role. He acknowledged Mr. Mbeki's efforts to resolve the crisis in neighboring Zimbabwe, but said he had failed to persuade President Robert Mugabe to "reverse his unjust and brutal regime."
Sentamu called on British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to impose stiffer sanctions on Zimbabwe beyond the existing sanctions which target senior Harare officials.
Also weighing in on the developing situation in Zimbabwe, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade called on African nations in general to try to help resolve the crisis, rather than leaving the matter solely in the hands of Mr. Mbeki.
South African-based political analyst Hermann Hanekom told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye that Tutu's remarks may have come too late to have an impact.