The DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called for Zimbabwe Pres. Robert Mugabe, who turned 93 on Tuesday, to be removed from power in the same way that Gambia’s dictator, Yahya Jammeh, was booted out last month.

He criticised the role played by the AU and the South African government in propping up Mugabe’s regime.

When asked what his birthday message for Mugabe was, Maimane said : “I wish that he would recognise that at his age he should not continue being the president of Zimbabwe.

“He must step aside so that we can enter into a post-liberation era. He has ruled for too long and must step aside.”

Mmusi Maimane was speaking in Joburg on the sidelines of the DA’s commemoration of the sinking of the SS Mendi troopship 100 years ago, which left more than 600 black South African soldiers dead.

“We must stand for democracy. The Zimbabweans won the elections, the opposition won the elections and we (South Africa) negotiated a government of national unity, undermining the will of the people,” said Maimane.

He said “we must do to Zimbabwe” what had happened in Gambia, where the Economic Community of West African States troops were deployed, leading to Jammeh leaving the country.


Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF, however, has already endorsed Mugabe as its candidate for the national general election to be held next year.

First lady Grace Mugabe reportedly said: “If God decides to take him, then we would rather field him as a corpse (in the upcoming election).

“We will put his name on the ballot paper just to show that people love their president.”