President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday said South Africa’s congratulations to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on his re-election in the country’s recent elections was on the basis that the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has declared him the winner.

Speaking to the SABC on the sidelines of his visit to Soweto, Ramaphosa called for Zimbabweans to exercise patience until everything is processed. He said:

"The SADC body has issued a preliminary report. They are still going to sit down together with many other observers and analyse everything.

So, let’s wait until all that comes out but the Electoral Commission in Zimbabwe has made a declaration and it is on that basis that we have issued our congratulatory message.

So, the rest of the things still need to be processed no doubt and everybody including the government of Zimbabwe accepts that so let’s wait until everything is well processed."

Ramaphosa’s congratulatory message was met with consternation in some quarters after the SADC Observer Mission expressed its reservations about the recently concluded harmonised elections.

The SADC observer team said voting delays, the banning of opposition rallies and biased state media compromised the credibility of the 23 August elections.