Can and should SA help Zimbabwe, and if so how? It’s a much more complicated question than it seems. Apart from simple good neighbourliness and human compassion, it cannot be in SA’s interest for yet another flood of Zimbabweans to arrive in a country already struggling with one of the world’s highest youth unemployment rates. Nobody knows how many Zimbabweans are currently in SA but estimates range from 1-million to 5-million. Late in 2018,SA turned down a request from Zimbabwe for a $1.1bn emergency loan, but President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to use SA’s “good offices” to encourage the IMF to re-engage with Zimbabwe after ties were cut in 1999. Yet, all the good progress made following the removal of then-president Robert Mugabe in 2017 has come crashing down over the past few weeks. Zimbabwean human rights groups claim 12 people have been killed, at least 78 shot and more than 240 have been assaulted and tortured, as the aggressive policing of civil disturbances typical of the ...

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