The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has called Zimbabwe’s embassy in South Africa to be closed, while the neighbouring country faces unrest in the form of anti-government protests.
“We call for the removal of the Zimbabwean Embassy in SA until they restore the human rights in that country. Failure to do so, we will prevent any official from the Zimbabwean government from participating in any gathering in SA until they respect ordinary Zimbabweans”, he tweeted on Monday, 3 August 2020.
The country has been the scene of chaos in recent days, with citizens taking to the streets over the ailing economy and allegations of corruption.
Protesters and journalists arrested in Zimbabwe Police have also arrested dozens of demonstrators, including a prominent journalist who had helped lift the lid on corruption related to COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE)
Part of the anger stems from a report linking President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son to a dodgy multimillion dollar contract for PPEs.
Meanwhile the EFF has echoed its fiery leader’s call, taking aim at Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa – after being involved in a war of words with Malema over the decision to compensate white farmers who were targeted during the land invasions under Robert Mugabe.
“…we find it condescending that a diplomat, deployed to the Zimbabwean embassy in South Africa has taken it upon himself to descend into the political arena with the EFF. As much as the EFF encourages engagements of its policy positions, it is not the duty of an ambassador who is here to sustain relations between two sovereign governments to engage in a political tussle with domestic opposition parties.
We condemn this in the strongest terms as partisan and undiplomatic behaviour, and it will set a bad precedence for the future”, said spokesperson Vuyani Pambo in a statement.
Pambo said failure to remove the embassy would result in the party taking direction to prevent any Zimbabwean government official from partaking in meetings with South Africa.
EFF: ‘African Union and SADC should intervene’ The red berets have also called on the African Union (AU) and the greater SADC region to enter the fray and end the injustices being committed under Mnangagwa.
The party said quiet diplomacy by the SADC region towards Zimbabwe has never worked and added that there must be an end to the arrest without trial and victimization of activists and critics of the ruling Zanu-PF pary.
“We cannot keep quiet while a military regime wages war on people in Zimbabwe”, it concluded.