South Africa: Zuma backs Mugabe over EU spat

posted in: Africa

Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) – South Africa has thrown its weight behind Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, who has shunned this week’s European Union-Africa Summit.

Mugabe once again found himself at the centre of a storm, this time over the EU’s refusal to approve a visa for his wife, Grace, to enable her attend the gathering of 65 heads of states and government in Brussels, Belgium.

The EU head of delegation to Zimbabwe, Aldo Dell’ariccia, last week defended the decision, saying the summit had no role for the spouses of leaders.

However, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Joey Bimha, this weekend issued a statement saying that Mugabe, who is under an EU travel embargo, will not attend. Furthermore, he said there will be no Zimbabwean delegation represented.

President Jacob Zuma, who is campaigning in Cape Town for the ruling African National Congress ahead of the May elections, said he will not attend the summit although Pretoria will be represented at a ministerial level.

In an interview on state television, Zuma also took a swipe at the EU, saying “I think that time must pass wherein we are looked as subjects (and) we are told who must come, who must not come.”

“I thought the AU and EU are equal organisations representing two continents but there is not a single one of them who must decide for others,” he said.

Photo: Buzz South Africa


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