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Ramaphosa urged to mobilise AU, SADC to assist Zimbabwe during current crisis

Dewa Mavhinga from the Human Rights Watch says that President Cyril Ramaphosa has not done enough to restore calm in Zimbabwe as an SADC member and a neighbouring country leader.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC 107 gala dinner at the Durban ICC on 11 January 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

BRAAMFONTEIN - Human Rights Watch has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to show leadership by insisting that the Zimbabwean government respects the rights of its people.

The group, along with the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, has weighed in on the country's economic crisis that's led to days of unrest with the army accused of conducting raids.

Rights groups are reporting that 12 people have been killed in the wake of this month's 150% petrol price hike which sparked mass street protests.

Dewa Mavhinga from the Human Rights Watch says that Ramaphosa has not done enough to restore calm in Zimbabwe as a Southern African Development Community (SADC) member and a neighbouring country leader.

“He has not condemned the violence in Zimbabwe and called for communities to stop these abuses and to ensure that there is accountability.”

Activist Pride Mkondo says that South Africa should be willing to assist the people of Zimbabwe, especially considering its own history of apartheid.

The coalition is calling on Ramaphosa to mobilise the African Union and SADC to treat the situation in Zimbabwe with the urgency it deserves.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)