By Tichaona Sibanda
22 March 2013
South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team on Friday refuted Zim state media reports that they were thrown out of a Jomic meeting after ‘gate crashing’ the gathering.
A report in the Herald said Zuma’s team gate crashed the meeting Wednesday on the pretext that the members wanted to introduce three officials seconded to work with Jomic by the SADC Troika.
Lindiwe Zulu, spokesperson for the team, told SW Radio Africa the report was irresponsible and malicious.
‘We would like to put the record straight. We were not chucked out of the meeting…we were requested to allow the parties to have discussion on a matter that they needed to clarify amongst themselves.
‘This is not the first time, nor is it the last time, the parties may ask us to give them space to have a discussion in trying to take issues forward,’ Zulu said.
She continued: ‘So we allowed them that space, they discussed and when they finished, we went back into the meeting and we continued with the meeting.’
Zulu, who was in Zimbabwe observing the referendum but was speaking to us from South Africa, said they had been invited to attend the meeting, contrary to reports that they had not.
‘It was very important for us to attend the meeting because they had just come out of a referendum and therefore from the facilitation team’s point of view we needed to hear from them on their experiences on the referendum,’ she said.
Zulu said the next step now was to work on the development of a roadmap leading to general elections, expected between June and October this year.