HomeLocal NewsNo June 29 Zim polls: SA minister

No June 29 Zim polls: SA minister

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South Africa yesterday dismissed Zanu PF demands that elections be held in June, describing the call by President Robert Mugabe’s party as politicking.

Report by Staff Reporter

South African International Relations Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim insisted that Zimbabwe should first implement key reforms before going ahead with polls.

“There have to be certain reforms that need to be speeded up,” Ebrahim told the South African Press Agency (Sapa). “If Zanu PF says they (polls) should be held in June or July that is probably playing politics. All parties should agree that the time is ripe for an election.”

Mugabe insists that elections should be held by June 29, threatening to declare an election date this week.

However, the two MDC formations are resolute that elections cannot be held before the implementation of media, electoral and security sector reforms among others.

“I think the opposition has a legitimate argument to say there should be proper progression for the election,” Ebrahim said.

The deputy minister said South Africa will send an observer mission ahead of elections, as Zimbabwe had a history of electoral violence. “There may be a little bit of intimidation here and there, knowing the history of Zimbabwe,” he said. “The election results should reflect the will of the people of Zimbabwe.”

South Africa, Ebrahim said, was willing to help fund elections north of the Limpopo if Zimbabwe made an appeal.

“There is the question of Zimbabwe having enough funding to hold a successful election.

“If South Africa is requested to assist in whatever way, we will definitely assist,” he said.

“(We will assist) either through funding part of the election or through some logistical assistance. It is in our interest and (that of) the region to see a free and fair election taking place.”

South African President Jacob Zuma is the facilitator to the mediation on the Zimbabwe crisis and his country is playing a key role in ensuring that the country holds free and fair elections.

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