Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo has accused the South African government of failing to help their neighbours in Zimbabwe as conditions there become increasingly desperate. Archbishop Ncube told the South African Broadcasting Corporation that South African's leaders "are in the best position to put pressure on Zimbabwe, to call for sanctions if necessary." He said: "They could force Mugabe to change but they have been watching this thing. It's now the eighth year it has been deteriorating." The Archbishop's criticism came as South Africa reluctantly agreed as president of the UN security council to allow a British request for a briefing on the humanitarian situation in Zimbabwe. South Africa's UN ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, earlier said he would not permit the briefing on the grounds that the political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe "is not a matter threatening international peace and security". Britain's UN ambassador, Sir Emyr Jones Parry, said he asked for the briefing "because of the widespread condemnation of events in Zimbabwe, the attacks on the leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, and the impossibility of the present situation". Mr Kumalo's justification for keeping Zimbabwe off the security council's agenda has drawn criticism at home, not least because South Africa is being flooded with hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing a country where there is no work, massive inflation and great food shortages. Church groups, trade unions and humanitarian organisations in South Africa have all appealed for the government to exert some pressure on Mugabe. The former archbishop of Cape Town and Nobel peace laureate, Desmond Tutu, last week criticised African leaders for "hardly a word of concern let alone condemnation" over events in Zimbabwe. "We Africans should hang our heads in shame," he said in a statement. "Do we really care about human rights, do we care that people of flesh and blood, fellow Africans, are being treated like rubbish, almost worse than they were ever treated by rabid racists? "What more has to happen before we who are leaders, religious and political, of our mother Africa are moved to cry out 'enough is enough'?"
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