Ramaphosa, SADC call for calm in Zimbabwe following election chaos

Cyril Ramaphosa
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

President  Cyril Ramaphosa and his Angolan counterpart Joá Lourenҫo have expressed concerns over the recent developments in Zimbabwe, calling for restraint ahead of the release of the election results.

Violence broke out on the streets of Harare on Wednesday, with three confirmed fatalities, as police and the military quelled demonstrations over alleged vote rigging as it became clear that Zanu-PF had taken the lead.

South Africa is the current chair of the Southern African Development Community  (SADC), while Lourenҫo is the chairman of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu told journalists during her department's monthly briefings in Pretoria on Thursday that the two leaders have called on  political and other leaders of society in Zimbabwe to exercise extreme restrain following the outbreak of protests.

“In this regard, the two presidents called on all political parties and the generality of the people of Zimbabwe to wait for the constitutionally mandated body, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), to announce the final results of the election,” Sisulu said.

She said the two leaders said the SADC community prides itself as peaceful and affirmed, and  that violence and conflict had no place in a democratic process.

Sisulu said Ramaphosa and Lourenҫo also called for law enforcement agencies in Zimbabwe to protect the lives and property of the citizens within the parameters of the country’s laws.

Sisulu refused to remark on the credibility of the elections until the ZEC had made a declaration on the credibility of the elections.

It is not clear when the presidential election results will be released, but according to local media reports, the ZEC confirmed that the results will be made public at 9pm on Thursday.

Sisulu  said "we hope that everybody will accept the results".

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