South Africa–Zimbabwe relations

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South Africa–Zimbabwe relations
Map indicating locations of South Africa and Zimbabwe

South Africa


South Africa–Zimbabwe relations have been generally cordial since the end of apartheid in South Africa, although there have been tensions due to political troubles in Zimbabwe in recent years.[1]

South Africa has a mission in Harare. Zimbabwe has an embassy in Pretoria and a consulate general in Johannesburg.

The Government of Zimbabwe took a particular interest in the search for independence for Namibia (South-West Africa) from South Africa. In addition, as chairman of the Frontline States in southern Africa, Zimbabwe spoke out vigorously against the policies of apartheid in South Africa and frequently called for the imposition of economic sanctions against the government. However, whilst supporting democratic change in South Africa, Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe did not support the idea of Zimbabwe being used as a base for anti-South African guerillas.[2]

In the 2007 Zimbabwean political crisis, South African President Thabo Mbeki mediated with the MDC and ZANU–PF to form a unity government, and often remained silent on the issues in Zimbabwe, which drew criticism.[3] Following a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe, the ruling ANC in South Africa became impatient and urged the parties to form a unity government.[4]

Second Congo War[edit]

On September 3, 1998, South African President Nelson Mandela supported the intervention by Zimbabwean troops in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to support the government of Laurent Kabila against rebels.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schenoni, Luis (2017) "Subsystemic Unipolarities?"in Strategic Analysis, 41(1): 74-86 [1]
  2. ^ US Department of State - Background Note: Zimbabwe, accessed November 29, 2008.
  3. ^ "Mbeki urges patience in Zimbabwe" Archived 2008-04-09 at, The National Post, April 8, 2008.
  4. ^ "Zuma says summit must "force" Zimbabwe deal", Reuters, November 7, 2008.
  5. ^ "South Africa shifts position on Congo". 3 September 1998. Retrieved 2 March 2015.