Johannesburg – South Africa has been called to reflect on its values amid mounting criticism that the country has not done enough to condemn alleged human rights violations in Zimbabwe.
Scores of protesters in Harare have been met with violence while trying to draw attention to the country’s economic challenges.
On various footage shared widely on social media, Zimbabwean security forces could be seen giving a heavy-handed response with South Africa coming under fire for its silence over the matter.
Running battles between police and demonstrators in Harare have sometimes ended in bloodshed, with unarmed citizens brutally beaten.
Fadayi Mahere , a lawyer and activist in the country, was arrested during the protests.
She said the silence from nations like South Africa had cast doubt about whether these governments cared about their fellow Africans.
“Do African lives matter to African leaders? The AU has said this is the year of silencing the gun. The test of whether they mean that or not is their response to Zimbabwe,” she said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the unrest was caused by “rogue Zimbabweans” working with foreign detractors.
Mahere has slammed the country’s response as a “bankruptcy of thought” and “a real tragedy”.