Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe said the resignation of South African President Thabo Mbeki was devastating, state media reported today.
Although Mbeki was frequently criticised for taking a soft line with Mugabe in a year of negotiations, he managed earlier this month to broker a power-sharing deal to end Zimbabwe’s deep political crisis.
But Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai are still deadlocked over cabinet posts.
“It’s devastating news that President Thabo Mbeki is no longer the President of South Africa, but that is the action of the South African people,” the state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Mugabe as telling reporters in New York, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.
“Who are we to judge? But it is very disturbing,” he said.
Mugabe met South African Foreign Affairs minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma on the sidelines of the summit to discuss political events in South Africa, the Herald reported.
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change says it does not expect Mbeki’s resignation to affect the negotiations.
The resignation was followed by the exit of 10 cabinet ministers and the deputy president from the cabinet.
Mbeki was forced out by his own African National Congress in the climax to a long power struggle with party leader Jacob Zuma, who has been more outspoken over Zimbabwe than the ousted president. – Reuters