Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

ANC’s support of Zanu-PF ‘in bad taste’

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has been stung by the ANC’s public endorsement of President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party last weekend.

The four-day Zanu-PF conference in Bulawayo was also graced by representatives of other liberation movements — the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola, Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi, Mozambique’s Frelimo, the Botswana Democratic Party and Zambia’s Patriotic Front. Each of the parties delivered messages of solidarity at the conference, which was attended by about 3 000 delegates.

However, most unnerving for Zimbabwe’s official opposition was ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe’s offer to assist Zanu-PF with “strategies” to win the next elections, mooted for early next year. Given South Africa’s role in mediating in Zimbabwe’s decade-long political crisis, the endorsement could tip the scales in favour of Zanu-PF.

MDC hawks who spoke to the Mail & Guardian this week described Mantashe’s comments as being “in bad taste”.

The MDC’s position in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was strengthened this year after it won its sympathy after Zanu-PF stepped up a violent crackdown against the opposition in March. The SADC subsequently took a tougher stance on Mugabe. South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, a SADC-appointed facilitator, has also been praised for tackling Zanu-PF’s belligerence and bringing new pressure to bear on Mugabe.

“It’s in bad taste. How can the ANC secretary general utter such statements slanted towards their comrades and think that these won’t affect the mediation process. That’s just ridiculous,” said an MDC official.

But Mantashe has rejected claims that the ANC’s support of Zanu-PF would compromise the mediation process, which he said was being conducted at an inter-state and not at an inter-party level.

MDC deputy spokesperson Tabitha Khumalo said: “We are still waiting for the national leadership to come up with a position on the matter and we will then advise accordingly.”

Zanu-PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo dismissed the MDC’s complaints and said: “There is no compromise on the part of President Zuma facilitating in Zimbabwe just because the ANC endorsed President Mugabe. The ANC and Zanu-PF share historical ties and the relationship that the two parties have is a very special one.

“The threat of neo-colonialism is strong in the region and it’s good to have sister parties coming out to defend with us the liberation gains.”

MDC spokesperson Nhlanhla Dube said: “The sincerity of South Africa has now been put into question.

“By supporting one political party over the many others, especially at a time of inconclusiveness in Zimbabwe’s political crisis, is certain to reduce South Africa’s credibility in the eyes of the other parties and possibly threaten to jeopardise the Zimbabwe talks.”

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Ray Ndlovu
Ray Ndlovu has been a correspondent for the Mail & Guardian in Zimbabwe since 2009. His areas of interest include politics and business. With a BSc honours degree in journalism and media studies, Ray aspires to become a media mogul.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

R500-million Covid-19 Gauteng hospital contract was irregularly awarded — SIU

The bank accounts of Pro Service Consulting and Thenga Holdings have been frozen

More top stories

With its industrial base decimated, SA’s economy needs real change...

Speaking at a book launch on Tuesday, the finance minister said a focus on manufacturing is critical to stem the country’s deepening unemployment crisis

Defence team cagey about Zuma’s health after state advised he...

The former president was absent from court, but his counsel argued that health matters be left aside, so as to hear his case for the removal of Billy Downer

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

New clean fuel standards could be the end of refineries...

In the absence of mechanisms to recoup investment into cleaner fuels, refineries may be faced with tough decisions
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×