Pretoria confirms 30-million-dollar aid injection for Zimbabwe
South Africa on Tuesday confirmed it had provided its ailing neighbour Zimbabwe with humanitarian aid to the tune of 300 million rands (30 million dollars), dpa reported.
The move amounted to an about-turn on the part of Pretoria that had initially made the formation of a unity government in Zimbabwe the condition for such assistance.
Thabo Masebe, a spokesman for South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, had reiterated on Sunday in an interview with the public broadcaster that Pretoria would provide such assistance only once a new government was formed.
But a day later, Zimbabwe's state media quoted Agriculture Minister Rugare Gumbo as saying Pretoria had sent, among other goods, maize and sorghum seed, fertilizer and fuel.
On Tuesday, Masebe, confirming that assistance was already being provided, said: "The aim is to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to circumvent a dire food security situation."
Zimbabwe's embattled President Robert Mugabe and opposition Movement for Democratic (MDC) party leader Morgan Tsvangirai have failed to implement a power-sharing agreement signed in September.
Months of negotiations involving South African officials, have failed to break the deadlock, with Mugabe refusing to bow to international pressure to step down.