S. African gov't refrains from making judgement on Zimbabwean elections

S. African gov
# 12 August 2013 19:22 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. The South African government on Monday congratulated Zimbabweans on holding the recent peaceful elections, but refrained from making a judgement on whether the polls were free and fair, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

A cabinet statement lauded the people of Zimbabwe and the country's political parties for holding the "successful harmonised" national elections, but the statement should not be seen as a pronouncement on whether the elections were free and fair, said Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

"We're in no way making the pronouncement on the elections. We are simply congratulating Zimbabwe that the elections went smoothly without violence. That is what we are congratulating them on," Joemat-Pettersson told a press briefing in Pretoria.

Acting cabinet spokesperson Phumla Williams said on the same occasion that the cabinet commended the efforts of President Jacob Zuma as the Southern African Development (SADC) facilitator on the Zimbabwe dialogue in ensuring that all political parties were committed to peaceful elections.

In the elections held on July 31, Rober Mugabe was re-elected as Zimbabwe's president, beating his main rival Morgan Tsvangirai, the incumbent prime minister and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change.

Tsvangirai cried foul of the election, dismissing it as a huge "farce," saying it did not reflect the will of the people. He said his party would challenge the outcome of the vote.

But the election results were accepted by the UN, the African Union and the SADC.