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SA has never taken sides in Zimbabwe - Zuma
November 17, 2004
November 17 2004 at 04:34AM

The South African government has never taken sides in Zimbabwe in the row between the ruling Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Deputy President Jacob Zuma has said on Tuesday.

Replying to questions in the National Council of Provinces, he said South Africa had been in discussions with both sides in Zimbabwe to find a solution to promote a situation conducive to peaceful free and fair elections in Zimbabwe in 2005.

President Thabo Mbeki's recent meetings with President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was an indication of the effort "we are trying to put in on this matter, as a sister country to Zimbabwe".

"What we cannot do is instruct the Zimbabweans, either side. We have to make them discuss among themselves, if it is possible. We cannot even enforce that thing, we don't have the authority to do so," Zuma said.

'We are trying to put in on this matter, as a sister country to Zimbabwe'
"We engage Zimbabwe as a sister country, as well as other political parties and sister political parties."

"And what is clear, in the case of Zimbabwe in particular, I think very consistently, is that we have never taken sides."

"We have talked to both in the interests of Zimbabwe and in the interests of the African continent."

"And that's our stand, and we will continue to do so."

The final solution lay with the Zimbabweans, and therefore they should be in a position to resolve the matter, Zuma said.


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