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Sisulu Calls for Mugabe to go
2008-08-08

 

Human rights activist and renowned author, Ms Elinor Sisulu, has called on the president of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, to step down.

Ms Sisulu made this call during her presentation of the Women’s Day lecture, titled: “Voiceless and voteless, fleeing zanuphobia into xenophobia: A Zimbabwean woman’s perspective of National Women’s Day” at the University of the Free State (UFS) on Wednesday.

She said thousands of Zimbabweans who fled their country because of violence will not return home unless Mugabe steps down.

“For the Zimbabweans in diaspora, what Mugabe symbolizes is so powerful that as long as he is there as a ceremonial president they will not return home. So the simple message from the South African office of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition is that Mugabe must go”, she said.

She also lambasted the southern African region generally, and South Africa in particular, for its silence over what she calls “Zanu-PF orchestrated violence” that triggered the current refugee influx in the region.

“The South African government was totally silent on the loss of life of innocent and vulnerable Zimbabweans. The mediator said nothing about it”, she said in a clear reference to president Thabo Mbeki, the SADC-appointed mediator.

She said for the Zimbabweans who had to flee to South Africa it was a case of “jumping from the frying pan into the fire”, fleeing Zanuphobia to xenophobia”.

She, however, appealed to the South Africans to raise their voices about the refugee problem that is not only besetting this country, but the whole region.

Ms Sisulu was born in Zimbabwe and she works in the South African office for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, the major umbrella body of Zimbabwean non-gobernmental organizations.

Media Release
Issued by: Mangaliso Radebe
Assistant Director: Media Liaison
Tel: 051 401 2828
Cell: 078 460 3320
E-mail: radebemt.stg@ufs.ac.za  
07 August 2008
 

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