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Nats want stronger Sth African stance on Zimbabwe

National wants stronger South African stance on Zimbabwe

Richard Worth - National Defence Spokesperson

The Government should now call on South Africa to take a stronger stance on the actions of Zimbabwe's authoritarian leader Robert Mugabe, says National's Defence spokesman Richard Worth.

"New Zealanders demonstrated their anti-apartheid views in supporting the African National Congress demands for universal suffrage in South Africa. Now is the time for the South African Government to stand up for genuine democracy and human rights in Zimbabwe.

"The Prime Minister is correct in supporting Australia's effort to have African Commonwealth members take a stronger stance against Mugabe. But the failure of this week's Commonwealth meeting suggests stronger pressures are required.

"Any trade or financial sanctions that may be imposed by New Zealand against Zimbabwe would be little more than symbolic. But the country has a good deal of moral weight to call on in seeking the adoption of a stronger position by South Africa.

"Surely this is the right time to call on the goodwill between our two countries to both seek a resolution of the crisis in Zimbabwe and gain some credibility for the Commonwealth in a difficult humanitarian situation.

"We don't want conditions in Zimbabwe deteriorating to the extent that outside aid and intervention is required," said Mr Worth.

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