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President Jacob Zuma arrived in Harare on Thursday morning to co-chair the inaugural session of the South Africa-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC).

In a statement‚ the Presidency said Zuma and President Robert Mugabe will deepen bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

Zuma faces an onslaught domestically as calls grow for him to step down after former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report into state capture was published on Wednesday. The report instructed Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry to further probe the allegations of state capture.

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zuma-and-mugabeThe report instructed the president to appoint the commission in 30 days‚ and this is to be headed by a judge solely selected by the chief justice‚ who shall provide one name to the president.

The Presidency said that BNC will be an opportunity to strengthen and develop trade‚ investment‚ mining‚ water‚ energy‚ infrastructure development‚ transport‚ and ICT between the two countries.

South Africa is one of the top investors in the Zimbabwean economy. The trade balance is positively in South Africa’s favour. In 2015‚ South African exports to Zimbabwe amounted to approximately R25.6-billion while imports amounted to approximately R4.3-billion‚ indicating an improvement compared to the preceding year.

At present‚ a number of South African companies continue to operate in Zimbabwe‚ principally in the mining‚ manufacturing‚ tourism‚ and agriculture‚ banking and retail sectors.

Zuma is accompanied by number of minsters on his trip‚ including Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane‚ Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies.

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