21 January 2019

Zimbabwe: SA Speaks On Crises in Mozambique, Zimbabwe

Pretoria — SOUTH Africa is working with neighbouring Zimbabwe in finding short and long term solutions to the economic situation in the latter, a senior government official said.

Lindiwe Sisulu, South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, said this after receiving a briefing from Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mphakama Mbethe, on the economic situation in the country after days of protests.

"The minister added that if the situation is not attended to, the current economic challenges can derail the political and economic progress the country has made since the election of the new president (Emmerson Mnangagwa)," ministerial spokesperson, Ndivhuwo Mabaya, said.

He quoted Sisulu as saying she had noted that protests in Zimbabwe had "calmed down and life in the streets of Zimbabwe is returning to normal."

Protests engulfed Zimbabwe after president Mnangagwa announced a 150 percent increase in the price of fuel to over US$3 (about R45) a litre.

At least 12 people were killed amid a brutal response to the protests by police while an estimated 100 others were injured.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) arrested more than 700 culprits suspected of committing crime ranging from theft, looting, violence and public property destruction.

Property worth $300 million ((R4,15 billion) was vandalized and shops looted.

Meanwhile, Sisulu also received a briefing from Mozambique Ambassador, Mandisi Mpahlwa, on developments in Mozambique where four South Africans have drowned and a man is held on terrorism charges.

She extended condolences to the four affected families.

Sisulu said Andre Hanekom, who is detained for alleged terrorism was well and would appear in court soon.

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