Cape Town - No major instances of violence and intimidation have been reported ahead of next week's elections in Zimbabwe, Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim said on Thursday.
South Africa welcomed the fact that the “overall atmosphere” in Zimbabwe was calm ahead of the July 31 polls, he told reporters in Pretoria.
Ebrahim referred to the recent Southern African Development Community Organ Troika on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation, which was held in Pretoria last weekend.
“On the Republic of Zimbabwe, the summit was pleased to note that all the political parties have committed themselves to ensuring that the forthcoming elections are held in a peaceful environment,” Ebrahim said.
“The summit encouraged the government, all political parties and leaders to continue with these commendable efforts which will help realise credible elections.”
The summit praised the Zimbabwean government for the manner in which it received observer missions.
About 600 foreign election observers, mainly from African bodies, had been accredited to observe the polls, while 6000 local observers would also be watching the vote.
“The success of the elections in Zimbabwe will contribute to an improvement in the regional political and security situation,” Ebrahim said.
“This will create positive conditions for socio-economic development, contributing to an improvement in the quality of life for the people of Zimbabwe and the region.”
On the South Sudan, South Africa was concerned about recent developments which saw the vice-president removed and the cabinet dissolved.
“South Africa calls for calm in the entire South Sudan, especially among the different communities, and urges all communities to exercise restraint,” Ebrahim said.
It was hoped the situation would not compound problems between South Sudan and Sudan.
“South Africa calls on the leadership of South Sudan not to allow the dissolution of the cabinet to impact on the progress of the ongoing negotiations with Sudan, as well as the progress recently achieved by South Sudan in addressing her socio-economic challenges.” - Sapa