ANC lauds Zimbabwe military for ensuring 'peaceful' transition

22 November 2017 - 16:36 By Neo Goba
An armoured personnel carrier stationed by an intersection as Zimbabwean soldiers regulate traffic in Harare on November 15, 2017.
An armoured personnel carrier stationed by an intersection as Zimbabwean soldiers regulate traffic in Harare on November 15, 2017.
Image: AFP PHOTO / Jekesai NJIKIZANA

The ANC has lauded the Zimbabwean military for their "peaceful" handling of the situation to ensure a "smooth transition" in the wake of former president Robert Mugabe’s resignation on Tuesday.

"Our view is that the fact that there was no obvious loss of life and damage to property‚ it was a peaceful process and to us it’s quiet reassuring. We are hoping that our comrades in Zimbabwe will rebuild Zimbabwe to its former self‚" said ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe.

This follows an eight-day crisis sparked by the military taking over the country after Mugabe's refusal to leave office after 37 years in power.

"That is the position we have taken because sometimes it's easy to stand up and say we are ready for renewal and I always become very cautious when everybody celebrates - you must know there's something wrong.

"When there is a crisis there we feel it and hopefully the intellectual capacity of Zimbabwe that is all over‚ including here (South Africa)‚ we start moving back to Zimbabwe and start rebuilding that country‚" added Mantashe.

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s firing as vice-president earlier this month triggered the military takeover.

ZANU-PF recalled Mugabe as party president on Sunday.

Mantashe said that when a government is taken over by soldiers‚ "I call it a military coup."

He commended Zimbabwe's military for handling the situation professionally‚ noting that there were no deaths‚ no shooting and no destruction of buildings.

Asked if the ANC had any prior knowledge that Mugabe would be recalled‚ the secretary general unreservedly denied this and said the party was taken aback just like the rest of the world.

He added that although there have been many developments in ZANU-PF which the ANC has been keeping a close eye on‚ they could only watch and do nothing as it's a sister party.


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