In South Africa, an Afrikaans think tank has sent an open letter to President Bush, calling on him to help bring about political change in Zimbabwe. President Bush is due to arrive in South Africa Tuesday.
The “Group of 63” is very critical of the Mugabe-government, accusing it of election fraud, intimidation and violence. It also says the South African government has done little to solve the problem. University of South Africa professor Dannie Goosen is chairman of the Group of 63. He spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about why the group is asking for US involvement in Zimbabwe.
Professor Goosen says, “We perceive the situation in Zimbabwe as the most serious human rights problem that we are faced with in southern Africa. We feel that as the most powerful force in contemporary society much more pressure should be put on the (Zimbabwe) government to bring about change in the correct direction.” He also says the United States should call on South Africa to get more involved.
Professor Goosen says, “President Bush should demand a change of government…because we think that the previous election was not based on legitimate grounds. So we think that a new election should be the answer and that the popular should eventually be recognized as the legitimate one.”
The Group of 63 says it believes that Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the last presidential election in Zimbabwe. President Mugabe has resisted pressure from the United States and Britain, calling it outside interference in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.
Professor Goosen says President Bush should appeal to Mr. Mugabe that current policies are leading to both an economic and human rights crisis in his country.
Click above links to download or listen to De Capua interview.