Police, protesters clash outside Zimbabwe embassy

Police have dispersed picketing crowds outside the Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria. Rubber bullets and stun grenades were used to disperse the large crowds. Reporter Khayelihle Khumalo is following that story. Courtesy #DStv403

PRETORIA - Police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse dozens of protesters outside the Zimbabwean embassy in Pretoria on Friday.

Close to 100 mainly Zimbabwean migrants in South Africa gathered to protest economic hardship and a recent crackdown on dissent and political opposition back home.

READ: SA envoy to engage Zim officials 

Earlier this week, Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to "flush out" critics who he described as "dark forces" and "terrorists" after the authorities thwarted anti-government protests.

On Friday, police were seen pushing and shoving the protesters from the front of the Zimbabwean embassy building, situated in a leafy Pretoria suburb not far from the Union Buildings.

Draped in their county's national flag, protesters waved placards, some reading "Mnangagwa: You are going to The Hague! Murderer! Thief!"

READ: Security forces clamp down on anti-govt protests in Zimbabwe

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said he had appointed two special envoys to go to Harare "following recent reports of difficulties that the Republic of Zimbabwe is experiencing". 

Mnangagwa took over from longtime ruler Robert Mugabe after a coup in November 2017 and many Zimbabweans complain that the country's situation has only gotten worse since.

The Zimbabwean government has dismissed allegations of rights abuses and a crisis in the country as "false".

"There is no crisis or implosion in Zimbabwe. Neither has there been any abductions or 'war' on citizens," government spokesman Nick Mangwana said in a statement.

Source
AFP