Pretoria: A cabinet meeting held last week has congratulated the people of Zimbabwe and that country’s political parties on holding “successful harmonised” national elections.
“Cabinet commended the efforts of President Jacob Zuma as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator on the Zimbabwe dialogue in ensuring that all political parties were committed to peaceful elections,” Acting Cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said on Monday.
President Robert Mugabe was returned to the Presidency for the seventh time when millions of Zimbabweans went to the polls earlier this month. The country’s main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change, has indicated that it would challenge the outcome of the elections, claiming the poll was not free and fair.
But a SADC observer mission in Zimbabwe was satisfied with the way the elections were conducted.
The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat–Pettersson, who was present at the media briefing, moved to emphasise that the Cabinet statement was not a pronouncement on whether the elections were free and fair.
“We’re in no way making the pronouncement on the elections. We are simply congratulating Zimbabwe that the elections went smoothly without violence. That is what we are congratulating them on,” said Tina Joemat–Pettersson.