Ramaphosa tells UN that sanctions on Zimbabwe are hurting South Africa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York that targeted sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe were also hurting South Africa.
“South Africa continues to call for the lifting of the economic embargo that was imposed 60 years ago against Cuba. An embargo that has caused an untold damage to the country’s economy and the people of Cuba as well,” he stated in his address.
“The sanctions that are also being applied against South Africa’s neighbour Zimbabwe should also be lifted.
“They’re imposing untold suffering on ordinary Zimbabweans, but also have a collateral negative impact on neighbouring countries such as my own country, South Africa,” Ramaphosa claimed.
The remarks will not go down well with activists in Zimbabwe who feel his government is not doing enough to reign in President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his oppressive regime across the border.
South African opposition leader Mmusi Maimane took issue with Ramaphosa’s logic, insisting South Africa was actually suffering because it was supporting a “Zanu PF dictatorship.”
“South Africa is suffering because of Zimbabwe. Our hospitals are overwhelmed, our inner city buildings are overcrowded and people are dying,” he said.
“Zimbabwe is suffering because of a Zanu PF dictatorship. You @CyrilRamaphosa siding with the oppressor and using their rhetoric,” Maimane added.
Journalist and anti-corruption activist Hopewell Chin’ono also weighed in on the debate while challenging Ramaphosa’s argument.
“President @CyrilRamaphosa of South Africa was harping on about sanctions against Zimbabwe at the @UN yet here we have blueberries exported from Zimbabwe being sold in @asda.
“These African leaders have no shame or sense of proportion when they push their tired ZANU PF propaganda!” Chin’ono Tweeted.
Western countries imposed targeted sanctions on the Zanu PF regime under the late President Robert Mugabe over corruption, human rights abuses, election rigging and the seizure of white owned commercial land.
Despite promising reforms after ascending to power via a military coup in November 2017, Mnangagwa has continued the same oppressive policies as his predecessor.