The Economic Freedom Fighters has called on the South African government to grant embattled Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe political asylum following a 'military coup' in his country.
"We call on the South African government to prepare to welcome President Mugabe for political asylum....He must be allowed to come to South Africa so that a peaceful transition can indeed take place," EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
"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."
Finally, we call on the South African government to prepare to welcome President Mugabe for political asylum. He must be allowed to come to South Africa so that a peaceful transition can indeed take place. #Zimbabwe— EFF (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 15, 2017
This follows media reports that Mugabe on Thursday "agreed in principle" to step down and was seeking refuge in South Africa.
"[Mugabe] has agreed in principle to step down. Details of his exit package are being worked out... He will go into exile in South Africa," Zimbabwean news outlet NewsDay reported.
Ndlozi said the EFF had an obligation to protect Zimbabwe from "further degeneration". The EFF also felt that Mugabe needs to hand over political power to the next generation, so that his legacy would not be tarnished.
"It is high time that Zimbabwe transits to a post-Mugabe era and all progressive forces all over the world should support the transition. Further degeneration of Zimbabwe should not occur and we have an obligation to protect Zimbabwe from such."
The EFF also approved of the actions of the Zimbabwean Defence Force, claiming it was within its rights to "protect" Zimbabwe from factions by suppressing "agents provocateurs", but called on it not to protect the lives of Zimbabweans during the transition.
The ZDF should make sure that there is no loss of life during the transition, but should decisively suppress agent provocateurs who will try to undermine the long overdue transition. #Zimbabwe— EFF (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 15, 2017
South Africans on social media on Friday shared mixed reaction to the news, and were having none of it.
Why is the EFF in favour of political asylum for a man who deprived so many of their economic freedom? Hypocrisy.— Monique (@lycotonum) November 15, 2017
Hell no! Grace and Robert Mugabe and Zuma in the same place?! Are you kidding?— Samantha Green (@GreenSlgreen) November 16, 2017
He just needs a place to sleep .— Ehime (@Iam_volltz) November 15, 2017
We don't want him not his wife here. Those are the only 2 Zimbabweans we don't wanna see. The rest you are welcome.— Musa Eugene Jnr (@thegenejnr) November 16, 2017
If Mugabe is the people's choice for President why does he need political asylum? He must live amongst the people he lead for so many years and let them show their appreciation..— Saffa.com (@SimonBrewer1) November 16, 2017
no flippin way pic.twitter.com/BYSgW5xNEK— Lloyd (@TheReal_Loyd) November 15, 2017
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President Mugabe is a Greatest long serving leader in Africa . We appreciate his role in ZIM . But we need to accepted that his time is off , let new generation take ZIM forward— RODNEY LEKWADU (@RLEKWADU) November 15, 2017