Mandela denies telling Mugabe to quit

Harare- Zimbabwe (PANA) -- Former South African President Nelson Mandela Tuesday denied he had told embattled Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to quit to avoid possible persecution.
Local media, quoting Mandela's officials, reported last week the former South African head of state had told Mugabe, who is under local and international siege, to leave office.
They said Mandela feared Mugabe, who has been in power for nearly 30 years, could be persecuted in the same way former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet was hauled to court for a variety of crimes.
Mugabe is accused by Western nations of human rights abuses, including a massacre of civilians in the 1980s following an armed rebellion in the south of the country.
But in a statement, Mandela's spokeswoman Zelda le Grange said the former South African president had not told Mugabe to quit as reported.
"I can categorically deny that Mr.
Mandela has approached anyone to interfere or intervene in the situation in Zimbabwe.
He made a very strong statement in 2004 that he's retiring from politics completely and he has not been involved in any political discussions since June 2004," she said.

06 november 2007 10:03:00

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