SA sends condolences to Zim

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has extended condolences to the government and people of Zimbabwe following the death of one of the country's Vice Presidents, Joseph Msika.

Mr Msika died on Tuesday at the age of 85 in a hospital in Zimbabwe after a long illness.

"Mr Msika's passing is indeed a painful loss not only to the Zimbabwean people but to the entire Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and the continent," President Zuma said in a statement. 

He said Mr Msika's passing came at a critical time in the history of Zimbabwe when challenges facing that country need experienced leaders like him. 

"On behalf of the Government of South Africa and on my own behalf I wish to extend my heartfelt condolences to the people of Zimbabwe, particularly to the family and close relatives of Vice-President Msika." 

As part of the power-sharing agreement, President Robert Mugabe will be tasked with naming Mr Msika's replacement from his Zanu-PF party.