South Africa rebukes officials over Zimbabwe

AP News
Posted: Jul 22, 2013 12:53 PM

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) — South African President Jacob Zuma, the chief regional mediator on Zimbabwe, says he has rebuked his aides for making "unfortunate statements" on Zimbabwe's lack of readiness to hold crucial elections on July 31.

Zuma's office said in a statement Monday that only the South African president is authorized to speak for regional mediators.

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe, campaigning for the poll, has criticized Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma's international relations advisor, for questioning the southern African nation's ability to hold credible polls in July.

After a chaotic early vote for police and the military on duty for polling day, Mugabe described Zulu as "a stupid, idiotic street woman," — local parlance for a prostitute — raising the ire of women's equality groups in South Africa and Zimbabwe.