President Jacob Zuma, in his capacity as Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson, called for "calm and restraint" on Wednesday, and said he hoped that the political situation in Zimbabwe would not lead to unconstitutional changes in Zimbabwe's government.
President Zuma urges #Zimbabwe government and defence force (ZDF) to "resolve the political impasse amicably" and ensure "the maintenance of peace and security is not compromised".
— HuffPost SouthAfrica (@HuffPostSA) November 15, 2017
Zuma was addressing South Africans on the current situation in Zimbabwe.
However Zimbabwe's ruling party, ZANU-PF, has denied that a military coup has taken place, and claims it is business as usual in Harare. Most retail outlets have opened for business, despite armed forces seizing control of South Africa's neighbour, including the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation.
On its Twitter page, ZANU-PF stated that it is not "owned" by Mugabe, and promised that "a fresh new era" would dawn under "Comrade Mnangagwa", claiming that he would "achieve a better Zimbabwe". This comes after former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa was fired by President Robert Mugabe for various allegations, including that he was "undermining" the nonagenarian.
ZANU-PF also called for media to stop reporting on claims of a coup, insisting "everything in the country is peaceful". They also publicly endorsed Mnangagwa as their new leader.
Mnangagwa was the more prominent of the country's two vice-presidents and had been part of Mugabe's cabinet since independence. He was said to have enjoyed the support of military generals and war veterans, a belief which recent developments appear to have confirmed.