IN SHORT: No, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa hasn’t issued any apology to the people of Zimbabwe on X, formerly Twitter.
“For now we stand with SADC's Preliminary Report and DR Mumba.”
A screenshot of the post has been circulating on Facebook since 28 August 2023, the day Ramaphosa took to X on to congratulate Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa on his re-election. It has the same date.
Zimbabwe, one of South Africa’s northern neighbours, held elections on 23 and 24 August. The presidential race was mainly between Nelson Chamisa of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) and Zanu-PF’s Mnangagwa.
On 26 August Zimbabwe’s elections commission declared Mnangagwa the winner of the presidential vote.
Three groups of international observers monitored the 2023 polls to determine if they were free and fair. These were from the Commonwealth, the European Union and the regional Southern African Development Community (Sadc).
On 25 August Mumba’s team released its preliminary report on the elections.
This raised several concerns: the late release of the voters’ roll, voting delays, voter intimidation, opposition rallies being cancelled by police, and bias in campaign coverage by government-controlled media.
But did he really issue an apology “to people Zimbabwe” for prematurely congratulating Mnangagwa on his re-election, and say his government instead supported the Sadc observer mission’s preliminary report?
No news of apology
If South Africa’s president had apologised for his 28 August X post it would have made global news. But there have been no credible reports of the apology.
We searched X for posts on Ramaphosa’s verified account from 27 to 29 August. Only two were found. Neither was the supposed apology.
On 29 August South African presidency spokesperson Athi Geleba posted the screenshot on X, with the word “FAKE” stamped on it three times.
🚨 FAKE NEWS ALERT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/xtHaConGSh— ATHI GELEBA 🇿🇦 (@AthiGeleba) August 29, 2023
The post giving Ramaphosa’s “apology to people Zimbabwe” is fake.
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