The EFF this week voiced it support for the events of the ongoing Zimbabwe Crisis, as it has come to be called, adding that the post-Mugabe era must be welcomed peacefully; which is why the Zimbabwean leader should be offered asylum in South Africa.
Speaking on the military lockdown of the nation’s capital, Harare, EFF leadership expressed that Mugabe’s name had long been synonymous for the degeneration of Zimbabwe, but that this could be ameliorated with a simple handing-over of political power to the next generation.
The EFF also urged the South African government to grant political asylum to the nonagenarian and his family, so as to avoid needless violence and secure a quick and peaceful succession.
“We must do this to aid peace allowing Zimbabweans to immediately stabilise their country and institutions for the sustainable civilian rule and a better future”, it said.
The EFF’s stance comes as little surprise given the party’s non-acceptance of the international community’s call to have Mugabe stand before the ICC for crimes against humanity.
Although the party has hinted at colonialism as a direct cause for the circumstances leading to the current military coup, it has also not strayed away from offering criticism of Mugabe’s leadership citing the dictator as an architect to the shattering of his own legacy.
“I like #PresidentMugabe for his contribution towards (the) African revolution but his overstay is destroying his legacy. A good leader should have produced 2nd & 3rd layer leadership to continue the good fight against imperialism. Zimbabweans should remove him & reclaim their country”, tweeted EFF leader, Julius Malema.
Yet, the reality of granting political asylum to Mugabe and his family would further strain South Africa’s foreign and domestic relations.
In a call-back to 2015 and the al-Bashir saga, South Africa suffered greatly internally and externally when it refused to adhere to the rule of law set out by the Rome Statute. The ICC called for the South African government to answer for its actions which were tantamount to abbeting a fugitive, while local pundits and political role-players alike decried the presidency's actions as fuel for protest.
For the time being, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed that South Africa’s involvement should be limited, if not, non-existent in the Zimbabwe Crisis, perhaps fearing the decisiveness of the issue in already divided times.
The Zimbabwean first family's asylum in the country would also press salt on recent wounds, following Grace Mugabe's assault on a 22-year-old South African girl not a few months ago which dominated headlines for a time.
President Zuma has dispatched special envoys to aid with peaceful resolutions, yet it remains to be seen whether the Mugabes will be become actual neighbours of ours.