SA anxious about Zim

via SA anxious about Zim – DailyNews Live 10 August 2014

HARARE – As Zimbabwe prepares to host the 34th Sadc Summit of Heads of State and Government in Victoria Falls in a week’s time, it has emerged that the regional power, South Africa, is once again “very anxious” about developments in the country, particularly Harare’s fast deteriorating economic climate.

A highly-placed source in Pretoria told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday that there were “growing fears” in South Africa that Zimbabwe’s worsening economic situation would not just result in heightened floods of illegal Zimbabwean migrants seeking economic opportunities across the Limpopo River, but could also trigger social and political strife in the country.

“Many senior people here both in government and the ANC (ruling African National Congress) are very anxious about the situation in Zimbabwe and its history of cyclical political and socio-economic problems.

“It is not a secret that Zimbabwe is currently economically stressed and that things may get significantly worse soon.

“The growing fear is that this economic crisis will trigger ever larger volumes of economic refugees to look for opportunities and relief illegally in South Africa, in a climate where we are also beginning to experience tensions as a result of high unemployment among our own people, some of whom have become a little bit unfriendly towards such illegal migrants.

“But looking beyond Zimbabwe’s economic challenges, and basing our fears on previous experience, there are also growing worries that this may in turn also trigger political strife in the country, particularly when one considers the fact that there is serious infighting within both (President Robert) Mugabe’s and (opposition leader Morgan) Tsvangirai’s parties (Zanu PF and MDC),” the source said.

As a result, the source said, authorities in Pretoria were putting together a task team of Cabinet ministers with a “watching brief” on Zimbabwe.

Another source said the current delay in reaching a conclusive decision on renewing the papers of about 250 000 illegal Zimbabwean migrants who were given temporary residency documents four years ago, under a special dispensation to get them documented, was because of the fear that with the worsening economic crisis in Zimbabwe, more Zimbabweans would “flood” to South Africa if there was a perception that they would be “warmly welcomed”.

“It is a difficult situation for us really. On the one hand we feel for Zimbabweans as our brothers and sisters and in fact will always endeavour to assist them. On the other, there is a real problem because the expectation we had that the situation in Zimbabwe would get better and normalise is just not happening.

“The reality is that more and more Zimbabweans are coming to South Africa and staying here illegally, and fighting for the scarce  opportunities available in the job market with our own people. So, while we want to assist Zimbabweans, we also don’t want to appear oblivious to the pain and struggles of our own people. It is a difficult conundrum,” the official said.

In the meantime, Pretoria is miffed by last week’s arrest and detention by Zimbabwean authorities at Beitbridge of five South African police officers who allegedly strayed into Zimbabwe.

According to reports, the South African policemen — all of them women — were picked up by alert local police who were on patrol at the border post, as they relaxed and jovially took pictures of themselves on the Zimbabwean side.

It is believed that authorities in South Africa are not happy with this latest “provocative action” in light of the fact that millions of Zimbabweans make a living, legally and otherwise in South Africa, as well as the fact this is not the first time Zimbabwean officials have acted in an “unreasonable and high-handed” manner with South African nationals.

“Zimbabweans must not take us for granted. If they chose to act maliciously we will do the same and let’s see who suffers in the end.

Crossing borders without going through strict official channels is something that happens routinely on both sides of the border because of the relatively good relations between our two countries.

“We are surprised that our brothers on the other side make mountains out of ant hills from time to time. This is dangerous,” a South African Home Affairs official said.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 22
  • comment-avatar

    where is the magnificient african intelectual mbeki now ask the clever man for solutions.

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    Chaka 7 years ago

    Sad to hear SA regretting they expected Zim to improve after elections. They will learn the hard way, and next time they don’t rush to endorse clearly rigged elections. True, caught in a catch22 situation, but they are part of the problem

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    Mixed Race 7 years ago

    @Charles Chidove-What is your comment on this latest news from the south about your stay in South Africa? The small prints are now coming out in details.It is obvious that the South Africans no longer welcome you Zimbos because the election results in the Jhb area clearly showed the shift to the opposition.

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    Mzingeli Mpofu 7 years ago

    The true is about to come .Let us not point fingers now but solve the Zim problems as you will need to be help to solve your future problems too.South Africa must ban the all Zimbabwean ZANU pf menbers who are the one working for the gorvement not to cross to SA.If south africa act and Botswana act then you will see.Vic falls

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    Mzingeli Mpofu 7 years ago

    I as a Zimbabwean I personally think South Africa is helping to pull down our country ,if Thabo and ANC members where willing to help Zimbabweans ,they we’re suppose to ask there friend Mugabe to step down and give a chance to other people who want to leed the country long back.That way we will see you as a close friend.They is a lot of people with developing mind but they are afraid that if they sho there skills they will be killed so now it’s on your hands as nearby country to close your boarder and force Zimbabweans to change there minds

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    Maybe South Africa and the previous idiot President and in fact the current idiot South African President, should not have been so quick to endorse the severally rigged elections. Are they taking their concerns to SADC??? The tragedy of Africa and it’s tin pot Presidents.

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    moyokumusha 7 years ago

    Aahh, wait till next week at Victoria Falls when uncle Bob will tell them all to ‘ go hang and don’t forget who let your cadres use Zimbabwe as a base’.

    It is was the South African Government who got Smith to cede power and it is they who today can get uncle Bob and co to depart and the sooner the better for them as Zimbabwe is now dragging Africa down.

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    Naison Nyereyegona 7 years ago

    People can believe their own propaganda but the biggest worry the South African government has is about the furmenting anger by the majority of its population which, despite the ecomomy doing well, have nothing to show for it.

    There is a growing demand for more to be done for the black people in South Africa and Zuma’s hands are tied by those who own the economy. There will soon be political upheaval in the country.

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    mutakura 7 years ago

    The two imbeciles- mbeki and zuma

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    revenger-avenger 7 years ago

    Zumalnd in 15 /years will be the same as mugbelnd today

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    Guerilla 7 years ago

    The south African Police were arrested by pro-ZANU PF police. Pretoria needs to take hard steps against Zanu-Pf leaders and not to punish the innocent citizens.

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    James Foley 7 years ago

    “South Africa, is once again “very anxious” about developments in the country, particularly Harare’s fast deteriorating economic climate.”, but this does not stop them from following the same policies that destroyed Zimbabwe, such as bringing in rulings such as mines having to cede 49% of their shareholdings to black South Africans, to start with.

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    Justice 7 years ago

    Oh right they are really surprised that the decision not to insist on an open and transparent election process and thereby forcing Mugabe on an unsuspecting public wouldn’t create a wonderful utopia with a wonderful economy!!! What a bunch of morons! No wonder SA is fast following Zim down the toilet.

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    John Thomas 7 years ago

    ZANU will always be high handed. The South Africans should know this. Mugabe and his party will never be grateful to anybody for anything. Biting the hand that feeds them is what they are all about. Why should they not bite the South Africans too.

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    Mseyamwa 7 years ago

    To SA Zim problems are not like the sound of a mosquito around the ear, to be brushed away with a simple swipe of the hand. But that’s what they thought when they gullibly accepted Mugabe to trounve reason in 2009 and to steal the election in 2013. They must recognize their hand in it and learn to love their brain child. For they missed amazing opportunities, choosing to sup with the sychophant instead of reigning him in. Attention on Zim should not be a one tym thing now for them. There is need for sustained TLC upon Mugabe and co. They are getting wilder everyday and the people are sinking lower everyday.

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    Zoooooma rushed to congratulate a man who ‘nikuved’ the elections and NOT for the first time. What does the man from Nkandle expect? No wonder the ANC are losing ground. The head of the biggest (or is it second now) economy in Africa rushed to agree with a lie, a deception and an outright theft. And his party followed in stupidity. They deserve Ju Ju and the very sharp pin he is needling them with. And not only that: the dreaded DA also made grounds. I am in the Western Cape at the moment and it looks like a different country to the rest of SA. Mmmmm!!!!!

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    Mike Nyathi 7 years ago

    How can the ANC fools cry about Zimbabwe when they have done more than any other government to keep the Zanuoids in power? It’s about Zanu, stupid. Wake up, fools.

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    Pakukutu 7 years ago

    It is an open secret that the higher powers and lower powers in SA do not appreciate Zimbos on their soil. Challenge is that as time goes on more are becoming permanent residents and citizens. As for the problems across, SA has a very unclear poor foreign policy and Africa should look elsewhere for continent solutions to problems of governance, terrorism and failed states, human rights, trade and development. Were it not for Mugabe’s lack of vision Zimbabwe was supposed to be that country by now. Other options – Angola, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana are steeped in their own challenges

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    Straight Shooter 7 years ago

    Whilst I understand and appreciate South Africa’s foreign policy of working within the SADC and AU collective in addressing African socio-economic political problems, so as to avoid the unAfrican approach of the apartheid regimes isolationist big-brother dicatorial policies of the past; I feel the ANC government has gone too far in appeasing fellow African countries’ sensitivities; especially when it comes to the Zimbabwean issue.

    South Africa should have tried to work hand in glove with Botswana in formulating a common position on Zimbabwe withing SADC. This is because the two countries are the major destinations of Zimbabwe illegal emigration; and as such they are suffering far more than any other SADC country from Zim’s political/economic fall out.

    Its all well and good for Tanzania, DRC, Zambia or even Malawi to insist on recognising gukurahundi ZANU PF’s electoral “victory”; knowing very well the elections did not conform to SADC elections prescripts; but for South Africa and Bostwana such recognition has dire consequences. It doesnt help South Africa’s case, not to side with Ian Khama in his condemnation of electoral fraud in Zim because it is them who will suffer from such an error of judgement.

    I believe, working withing the SADC collective, South Africa and Botswana should always adopt a common position, that seeks to influence their SADC colleagues to understadn their predicament. As things stand, the problem is that many a time, SADC appears to be more inclined to pleasing Mugabe for his so-called liberation credentials than ensuring regional political stability and economic prosperity. Again, black people have this one main cultural problem of defering to age and seniority (which Mugabe takes advantage of), in the place of pragmatism!!

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    Straight Shooter 7 years ago

    The funniest thing about this South Africa Zim connudrum is that among all African heads of State; gukurahundi Mugabe gets the loudest cheers from the South African black crowds than any other leader, whenever he honours the many invitations to State functions in South Africa. Where his image appears on the giant screens, black South Africans go into a frenzy!

    What a confused lot!

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    Mandevu 7 years ago

    We need to get the change process underway sooner than later

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    C Frizell 7 years ago

    When you look at things rationally, it has been South Africa that have steadfastly supported the Criminal Elite in Zimbabwe ever since Mandela stepped down

    They know full well that the blame lays squarely at the feet of Mbeki and then Zooma. It is they who have always supported The Mafia, come what may.