No mention of xenophobia attacks at SADC summit

The summit has entered a closed session with commentators saying Zuma could be in for a rough ride.

FILE: A Zimbabwean man displaced by xenophobic violence. Picture: EWN.

HARARE - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has opened a special Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit on industrialisation but there's been no mention so far of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

The summit has now gone into a closed session, and commentators say President Jacob Zuma could be in for a rough ride from his counterparts.

At least seven people were killed during the recent spate of xenophobic unrest that's seen Zimbabweans being bussed home en masse.

In his opening remarks, Mugabe, who is currently SADC chairman, said Southern Africa possessed rich resources, including 55 percent of the world's diamonds and 72 percent of its platinum group metals.

But most of its people still live under the poverty line.

Mugabe said that by exporting natural resources in their raw form, the region was compromising efforts to create jobs and develop industry.

Industrialisation is the main topic of this summit, and Mugabe has not said anything about the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

But those attacks will be on the minds of many of the heads of state, and Zimbabwe government officials say the issue may well be discussed.