Mugabe’s official visit to SA first in more than 21 years

ZIMBABWEAN President Robert Mugabe and first lady‚ Grace‚ are expected to touch down at Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon for an official state visit to SA.

The Department of International Relations and Co-operation said the couple would be received by President Jacob Zuma.

The purpose of Mr Mugabe’s visit remains unclear‚ with the department only saying it was for the signing of a memorandum of understanding.

A statement from the ministry of international relations said: “The objective of the visit is to consult on issues of mutual interest‚ paying particular focus on bilateral and economic co-operation‚ including regional and continental matters.”

The visit would also strengthen historical‚ cultural and fraternal bonds that existed between the two countries, the statement said.

RDM News Wire understands Mr Mugabe is bringing an entourage of cabinet ministers and a business delegation on his first state visit to SA in more than two decades.

On Wednesday Mugabe and his entourage are due to meet Mr Zuma at the Union Buildings for a welcoming ceremony and the signing of the memorandum of understanding.

This will be followed by a courtesy call on Mr Mugabe by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Sheraton Pretoria Hotel.

On Thursday morning‚ the day on which the Zimbabwean delegation is expected to conclude its visit‚ the SA-Zimbabwe Business Forum meeting will be held at the Sheraton hotel.

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