South African police fire rubber bullets at Zimbabwe protest

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African police on Friday used stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse activists who staged a protest at Zimbabwe's embassy in the capital, Pretoria.

Just over 100 protesters, mostly Zimbabweans living in South Africa, gathered to protest police brutality, arrests of journalists and government corruption with placards denouncing President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

They called for South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and leaders of other neighboring countries to take action to tackle the problems faced by Zimbabweans in a country facing economic collapse.

Ramaphosa has said he would send two envoys, former Cabinet minister Sidney Mufamadi and former parliamentary speaker Baleka Mbete to Zimbabwe to assess the situation.

Hundreds of people including lawyers, journalists and health care workers have been arrested in Zimbabwe in recent months as they raise their voices against government corruption and worsening economic conditions.

Loid Ndiweni, a Zimbabwean who attended the protest, said they expected more from Ramaphosa.

“It is not enough for him to simply send envoys there. He must go there himself and not only speak to the government, he must speak to everybody including activists and the opposition,” Ndiweni said.

Many protesters called on Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries to intervene.

“For old men in (South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party) and other leaders in (southern Africa) to pretend as if they don’t know what is happening in Zimbabwe when there is so much evidence is just a betrayal,” said Vimbai Mupunga.