South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, Thursday, appointed two special envoys to engage the Zimbabwean government on the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the neighbouring country.
The two envoys are Dr Sydney Mufamadi and Baleka Mbete.
“The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, has appointed Dr. Sydney Mufamadi and Ms Baleka Mbete as his Special Envoys to Zimbabwe, following recent reports of difficulties that the Republic of Zimbabwe is experiencing,” said Tyrone Seale, Acting Spokesperson to the President.
“The Special Envoys are expected to engage the Government of Zimbabwe and relevant stakeholders to identify possible ways in which South Africa can assist Zimbabwe.”
The envoys are expected to travel to Zimbabwe “as soon as all the arrangements are made.”
Dr. Sydney Mufamadi is the former Minister of Provincial and Local Government (1999 to 2008). In 1994, after South Africa’s first democratic elections, he was appointed Minister of Safety and Security in the Government of National Unity – a position he held until 1999.
Mbete is former Deputy President of Republic of South Africa, former Speaker of the National Assembly and former Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC).
Earlier on Wednesday, the South African had expressed concern on the reports “related to human rights violations in the Republic of Zimbabwe.”
Zimbabweans, at home and abroad, outraged by the mass arrests, imprisonment and alleged torture of activists, journalists, opposition politicians started the #ZimbabweLivesMatter online movement, which attracted regional and international support.
In response, President Mnangagwa, Tuesday, lashed out at “destructive terrorist opposition groupings” and “dark forces both inside and outside the borders” whom he accused of attempting to dethrone him from power.
The Zimbabwe government, also denied that there was a crisis with the spokesperson Ndavaningi Mangwana claiming “no implosion was taking place, neither were there abductions or war on citizens yet like any other country in the world, they were enforcing Covid-19 regulations.”