Motlanthe hopes for Zimbabwe government this week

PRETORIA, – South African President Kgalema Motlanthe expressed hope on Wednesday that Zimbabwe's rival political parties will form a government this week and said he would not join calls for President Robert Mugabe to step dowm.

Motlanthe told a news conference the parties have not raised the issue of Mugabe stepping down and he should stay on under the terms of a Sept. power-sharing agreement.

President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday South Africa would not join international calls for Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe to step down, saying it was "not for us" to do so.

"It’s really not for us," he said when asked at a news conference how bad conditions had to get in Zimbabwe before South Africa would say it was time for him to step down.

"I mean I don’t know if the British feel qualified to impose that on the people of Zimbabwe but we feel that we should really support and take our cue from what they want." – AFP