Ex-President Jacob Zuma

President Robert Mugabe is under house arrest in Zimbabwe, South Africa said Wednesday, adding it was sending envoys on behalf of the region’s bloc after the army apparently took over.

“President Zuma spoke to President Robert Mugabe earlier today who indicated that he was confined to his home but said that he was fine,” the South African government said in a statement.

“Zuma, in his capacity as Chair of the Southern African Development Community, is sending Special Envoys to Zimbabwe.”

South Africa will send its intelligence and defence ministers, the statement said.

South Africa is Zimbabwe’s powerful southern neighbour and is home to hundreds of thousands of Zimbabwean migrants.

It has long pursued a policy of quiet diplomacy with Mugabe as Zimbabwe has previously been engulfed by a string of serious political and economic crises.


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