Tuesday, August 06, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) Lindiwe Zulu jumped gun on Zimbabwe: SA Presidency
This article was written by Our reporter on 21 July, at 20 : 07 PM

Recent comments made by members of President Jacob Zuma’s technical team on the situation in Zimbabwe were “unfortunate”, the South African presidency said on Sunday.

This follows a call by President Mugabe on Friday to rein in President Zuma’s adviser Lindiwe Zulu to stop comments on Zimbabwe as she was not mandated to do so. Only President Zuma is mandated by Sadc to facilitate the process in Zimbabwe.

“The Presidency has noted with great concern, recent unfortunate statements made on the situation in Zimbabwe,” spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

Maharaj said the comments were attributed to a team member supporting Zuma in his role as a facilitator, with South Africa appointed by Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to offer assistance to help Zimbabwe’s political parties resolve their differences.

Zuma’s team comprised of Mozambique high commissioner Charles Nqakula as its head, Maharaj, and Lindiwe Zulu, international relations advisor to the president.

The AFP news agency reported on Friday that Zulu had said there were challenges leading up to the 31 July elections in Zimbabwe, following problems with early voting.

Some Zimbabwean security forces could not vote in a Special Vote process in early voting as there were challenges dealing with challenges filed by the MDC parties over nominations for aspiring MPs.

“If things didn’t go right in the special vote, those things need to be looked into by the time of elections on July 31,” Zulu said.

Maharaj said the technical team supported Zuma in his role as facilitator, could not impose its views on Zimbabwe, nor make public pronouncements. “Only President Zuma has the mandate to speak on Zimbabwe on behalf of SADC on facilitation issues,” Maharaj said.

“A number of statements have been made during the facilitation process which have been unauthorised and which are regrettable and unfortunate. Some of the utterances have also been inaccurate.”

The presidency said reports stating Zuma had telephoned Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to express his unhappiness about election preparations were incorrect. “No such telephone call has been made,” said Maharaj.

Zuma had also been alerted to “inappropriate postings” in social media on the situation in Zimbabwe. “South Africa remains fully committed to the warm historical relations with the Republic of Zimbabwe and wishes the people of Zimbabwe well as they prepare for the elections,” said Maharaj.

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