'SA respects Botswana boycott'

"Botswana is a sovereign state and has a right to take whatever decision it deems fit," said Dlamini-Zuma at a media briefing in Sandton on Friday.

Botswana President Ian Khama boycotted the summit after Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe was invited. He believed that Mugabe’s re-election was a sham and illegitimate.

Instead, Botswana’s foreign minister will represent the country.

However, Dlamini-Zuma said work would continue and decisions taken would bind everyone within the SADC region.

She added that the SADC was hard at work trying to resolve the Zimbabwean crisis.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwean Exile Forum launched an urgent application to the SADC tribunal to prevent Mugabe from attending the regional body summit. – Sapa