Zanu-PF boasts about a shared history with the ANC

Congratulations and comparisons poured in for the ANC at its Mangaung conference. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Congratulations and comparisons poured in for the ANC at its Mangaung conference. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Events took a turn at the ANC Mangaung conference as liberation movements such as Zanu-PF began comparing themselves to the ANC.

The ANC conference in Mangaung took a turn after the winners were announced and tributes from other parties and organisations were brought to the stage.

A representative from Robert Mugabe's party Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe used the opportunity to defend the party's controversial policies, likening their situation to the ANC's.

Zanu-PF national chairperson Simon Khaya Moyo was invited on to stage to congratulate the ANC.

The reception was initially warm as Moyo recounted the two parties' historically close relationship, speaking fondly of a visit from Jeff Radebe and boasting of his friendship with Gwede Mantashe.

But applause from the 4 000-plus audience became increasingly muted as he delved into the party's controversial history and land grabs in the country. "A situation where 1% of the population owned 70% of commercially viable land was not tenable," he said defiantly.

Moyo emphasised the right of the two countries' territorial independence and said the "restriction free" sale of Zimbabwe's diamonds was necessary. He concluded by saying his party and the ANC shared a common history, values and destiny.

Frelimo from Mozambique simply wished the party success, albeit after mistakenly calling Cyril Ramaphosa deputy president of the ANC and the republic of South Africa. This was quickly corrected.

Tributes from Chile and the Socialist International also followed.

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