South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa appoints two special envoys

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa appoints two special envoys

President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses virtual conference on Africa Leadership Role in Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Development and Access

President Cyril Ramaphosa has, on Thursday 6 August, appointed two special envoys to Zimbabwe amid raging protests and civil unrest. 

Ramaphosa, who has been accused of not doing enough regarding the human rights violations in Zimbabwe, appears to have broken the silence.


Ramaphosa has appointed Dr. Sydney Mufamadi and Baleka Mbete as his Special Envoys to Zimbabwe, following recent reports of difficulties that the republic is experiencing.

Protesters have taken to the streets over corruption and a lack of basic resources. Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, however, addressed the nation putting the unrest down to a “few rogue Zimbabweans acting in league with foreign detractors”.

“The bad apples that have attempted to divide our people and weaken our system will be flushed out,” he said.

The Special Envoys are expected to engage the Government of Zimbabwe and relevant stakeholders to identify possible ways in which South Africa can assist Zimbabwe.

Doctor. Sydney Mufamadi is the former Minister of  Provincial and Local Government (1999 to 2008). In 1994, after South Africa’s first democratic elections, he was appointed Minister of Safety and Security in the Government of National Unity – a position he held until 1999.

Baleka Mbete is former Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa, former Speaker of the National Assembly and former Chairperson of the African National Congress (ANC).

“The president’s special envoys will leave for Zimbabwe as soon as all the arrangements are made,” the presidency said in a statement.


Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) Naledi Pandor said that government has acknowledged the reports related to human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

Dirco, just hours before Ramaphosa’s announcement on Thursday, said Pandor was in contact with her Zimbabwean counterpart, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Sibusiso Moyo.

“As recent as on Tuesday, the two ministers had a telephonic conversation, wherein minister Pandor expressed South Africa’s readiness to assist if requested,” it said.

Pandor reiterated South Africa’s commitment to peace and stability in the region and the African Continent as a whole.

“She stated that it remains South Africa’s resolve to continue the pursuit for consultative solutions to address the existing socio-economic challenges and to contribute to the wellbeing of all Zimbabweans, the people of the SADC Region and Africans at large,” it added.