Zimbabwe elections: ANC, EFF congratulate Mnangagwa, DA awaits results of MDC court challenge
The ANC and the EFF have congratulated Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa for winning the country's elections, while the DA says it is awaiting the outcome of the opposition MDC's pending challenge.
Mnangagwa was named the winner of the country's elections in the early hours of Friday, the first poll since the ousting of former president Robert Mugabe in November last year.
Mnangagwa won 50.8% of the vote, ahead of Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC party on 44.3%, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said, declaring Mnangagwa the winner. His party also retained a majority in Parliament.
The opposition MDC has said it will challenge the election results in court.
The ANC on Friday, however, said it had sent a team of election observers to the country at the invitation of Zanu-PF, and was confident that the result was a reflection of the will of the people.
"We want to take this opportunity to congratulate Zanu-PF for having won a majority of seats in the Zimbabwean National Assembly. We also congratulate Mr Emmerson Mnangagwa on his election as president of Zimbabwe."
The EFF also wished Mnangagwa well in his tenure in a Zimbabwe "free of Mugabe's autocratic leadership".
"May Zimbabwe rise to its former glory under a united Parliament and President Mnangagwa," EFF national spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said.
Both parties condemned the violence that took place following the announcement of early results on Wednesday. Six protesters were killed.
"The loss of life and violent outbreaks in the streets is regrettable and we call on all citizens of Zimbabwe, including opposition parties, to accept this democratic outcome," the ANC said.
The EFF's Ndlozi said: "Africa no longer needs leaders who see violence as the solution to political problems. As a continent we have known enough violence that has only led to Africa's deterioration."
The ANC commended voters for strengthening democracy, and urged the newly-elected leadership to pay focused attention to the socio-economic challenges that confront South Africa's neighbours.
"The ANC stands ready to walk this path with the people of Zimbabwe and to lend a hand."
Mnangagwa calls for investigation
However, DA spokesperson for international relations Stevens Mokgalapa was more cautious about the party's stance on the initial results.
"We would not want to say we welcome them up until the whole process of the appeal by the MDC has been verified," Mokgalapa said.
"We note that the actual voting was very peaceful. The concern we had was the delayed announcement of the results which caused unnecessary tension and post-election violence. We condemn the use of the army."
Mokgalapa said the DA hoped that the MDC's decision to challenge the results in court would lead to the right conclusion.
Mnangagwa said on Thursday he wanted an independent investigation into the killing of six protesters when soldiers opened fire at election demonstrations, saying he sought to settle differences "peacefully".
Zimbabwe was calmer on Friday morning, as citizens now wait to see what happens next following Mnangagwa's victory.