SA special envoys to begin talks to end Zim political crisis

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula and her State Security counterpart Bongani Bongo arrived in Harare on Wednesday night.

Zimbabwean soldiers control vehicle access at an intersection in Harare on 15 November 2017. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's special envoys to Zimbabwe will begin talks on the crisis in the neighbouring country on Thursday morning, as the world waits to see how the political impasse will end.

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Maphisa-Nqakula and her State Security counterpart Bongani Bongo arrived in Harare on Wednesday night.

They were deployed after the army announced a purge of what it calls criminals around President Robert Mugabe.

Mugabe is said to be safe at home where the military is holding him and his family.

International Relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela says that all involved, including Mugabe, will be invited to the discussions aimed at ending the crisis

“I can confirm that the special envoys appointed by president Zuma have arrived in Zimbabwe, they were welcomed well. They have just been briefed at the VIP lounge.”


The British acting ambassador has been posting a series of updates on social media as the tension continues.

The United Kingdom says Zimbabweans must be able to decide on their own future in free and fair elections in line with the constitution adding that authoritarian rule should have no place in Africa.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has appealed for calm, non-violence and restraint in Zimbabwe as world leaders continue to monitor the situation.

It’s not known how many Britons are either visiting or living in Zimbabwe but it's thought to be a significant number.
The acting ambassador in Harare, Simon Thomas, has urged them to remain indoors or in their hotel rooms until the situation is clearer.

In London south, a small band of Zimbabwean exiles gathered outside of Zimbabwe’s embassy to celebrate what they hope will be the fall of Mugabe.

Most are members of the UK based charity Zimbabwe Human Rights Organisation which holds weekly protests against the abuses in their homeland. The leader says real change must follow these events.

GALLERY: On the ground in Zimbabwe

Whatever comes of South African Development Community and military intervention in Zimbabwe, some activists say there's a long road ahead for the beleaguered country.

Prominent religious leader and activist, Evan Mawarira, says that he is concerned.

Mawarira says that the involvement of the military in the transition of power in Zimbabwe is not desirable.

“The road to a new Zimbabwe is certainly not going to be fixed by the events of the last 24 to 48 hours.”

He says a lot of work still needs to be done to rebuild Zimbabwe.

“We have millions of young people that need to be employed, we have hospitals that’s need to be rehabilitated. We have an economy that has been in ICU for the better part of eight years.”

He has called on Zimbabweans not to be overly excited about the actions of the military, saying that they must rather play their part in guarding and defending the country’s constitution.