28 January 2019

Zimbabwe: SA Opposition Party to Approach ICC, UN Over Zimbabwe Crisis

South Africa — The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party will write to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as part of its interventions to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane on Monday announced that the party would also formally approach the UN Commissioner on Human Rights requesting the intervention of its council in the crisis in accordance with its mandate to protect human rights.

"With the fall of the Mugabe regime, a sense of hope arose as change was promised by new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa committed to doing things differently, and Zimbabweans believed this was indeed possible. However, over a year after Mnangagwa took office, nothing has changed.

"The frustration and sense of betrayal saw Zimbabweans take to the streets and exercise their democratic right to protest joblessness, poverty, economic distress and exorbitant fuel increases.

"Unarmed civilians have been met by armed violence by government. And the crisis has now reached boiling point," Maimane said.

Maimane said the DA would urgently request a joint meeting of parliament's portfolio committees on home affairs, international relations and co-operation, police, and defence and military veterans to deliberate on the political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

The party also submitted an urgent motion to the national assembly speaker requesting that the house debate the impact of violence by the Zimbabwean government on South Africa.

"It is vital that parliament considers, debates and deliberates on this matter, and seeks collective solutions in light of the president's failure to act," Maimane said.

He said despite concerted pressure from the DA, President Cyril Ramaphosa and his government had failed to show leadership and intervene in what had become a humanitarian crisis.

"To date, Ramaphosa has simply called for the end to sanctions against Zimbabwe. The president is mistaken to focus solely on the economic situation in Zimbabwe while turning a blind eye to the dictator-like military clampdown on citizens which has to date claimed the lives of at least 12 people."

Maimane said it was vital that stability was restored in Zimbabwe and in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

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