Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town called on the Southern African Development Community to establish mechanisms in Zimbabwe to bring about an end to political violence.
He also urged Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF to recognise the legitimacy of its political opponents.
The full text of his statement follows:
Statement by the Most Reverend Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town
"The African Union's resolution calling for negotiations to settle Zimbabwe's political crisis is a welcome first step towards fulfilling the AU's potential to work for an Africa without conflict.
"Now space must be created to ensure that the negotiations are productive.
"Both parties have to be genuinely willing to address one another's fears and aspirations. If the talks are to succeed, Zanu-PF needs to recognise the legitimacy of the MDC. In addition, the talks will go nowhere if Zimbabweans continue to live in terror of being attacked and killed for not having red ink on their fingers.
"We acknowledge and give thanks for what the SADC mediation process has delivered so far. However, it needs now to be expanded, and I urge SADC to establish mechanisms on the ground in Zimbabwe to bring about a climate free of political violence.
"We pray for negotiations between partners fully committed to finding one another and ending the desperate suffering of their people. A lasting settlement would breathe hope and transformation into our common life in Southern Africa."
Item from: Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town