South African ruling party secretary general Fikile Mbalula says the Zimbabwean crisis is likely to exacerbate and affect the neighbouring country more if the United States continues with its sanctions on Harare.
The outspoken ANC leader was speaking at the party’s youth league conference where he took a swipe at the US for its stance against Zimbabwe saying if that is maintained, it will remain a problem for Pretoria.
South Africa is home to nearly a million Zimbabweans who are in the neighbouring country as economic refugees fleeing from the crisis.
“We’ve got a problem here in Zimbabwe and it’s brewing,” Mbalula said. “And you think it’s going to be the problem of the Americans; it’s going to be our problem for the longest of time.”
Mbalula called for a peaceful solution for Harare insisting the Americans should “give peace a chance.”
“Americans must give peace a chance… We need a roundtable; we need peaceful negotiations,” he added.
Mbalula said South Africa would have to contend with Zimbabweans flocking into the country in search of better living conditions.
The US struck Zimbabwe with sanctions in 2001 as reaction to a violent land invasion under the land reform programme banner.
Sanctions have been continuously renewed from then with the latest being last week despite Washington dispatching a senior envoy to Harare for crucial talks.
Zanu PF has maintained that the sanctions against Zimbabwe were illegal and should be unconditionally removed.
The ruling party has the support of SADC, the African Union and other individual countries in calling for the removal of sanctions.
However, the US and its allies including the United Kingdom insist sanctions will only be removed once the regime stops human rights violations.
While Zimbabwe argues that the economic crisis contributing to the suffering of millions of Zimbabweans is as a result of economic sanctions, the US argues the challenges faced by Harare are to do with corruption and lack of transparency.