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President Cyril Ramaphosa met Nelson Chamisa last week as the popular opposition leader sought help from SA over Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis. Chamisa wants Ramaphosa to mediate in talks with President Emmerson Mnangagwa at a time when Zimbabwe is facing its worst economic crisis in 10 years. Zimbabwe’s economy has been in meltdown since the July 30 election Mnangagwa won with a razor-thin margin. Chamisa, who commands wide support in Zimbabwe’s urban areas, has hotly disputed the poll outcome, refusing to accept Mnangagwa’s legitimacy as he insists he won the plebiscite. Since the poll, Chamisa and Mnangagwa have failed to strike common ground, with the president ruling out working with the opposition. In 2008, former SA president Thabo Mbeki negotiated a power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) following a disputed poll, and many see a government of national unity as a solution to Zimbabwe’s quagmire. The political stalemate ...

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