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ANC must not cleanse Zanu PF



FIREBRAND opposition politician Job Sikhala on Wednesday tore into the South Africa’s governing ANC led by President Cyril Ramaphosa over its role in sanitising sham elections in Zimbabwe in a ploy to help fellow liberation party Zanu PF to maintain a stranglehold on power.


Sikhala made the remarks while speaking in a no-holds-barred interview with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) HardTalk host, Stephen Sackur.

While the Southern African Development Community election observer mission led by former Zambian vice-president Nevers Mumba concluded that last year’s general elections in Zimbabwe did not meet the requirements of a free, fair and credible poll, Ramaphosa and the ANC stood firm in sanitising the plebiscite.

Sikhala said this has always been the case with previous elections.

“The ANC’s role has always been to undermine our people. Fikile Mbalula, the ANC secretary-general, has been releasing controversial statements against the opposition and people of Zimbabwe,” Sikhala said.

“There is no doubt that it’s the ANC’s policy to undermine the democratic forces of the people of Zimbabwe. We have noticed and identified the role the ANC and consecutive ANC governments in South Africa have played to undermine the mass democratic struggle in our country.”

Sikhala also blamed the ANC for facilitating a power-sharing deal in 2008 that kept long-time ruler President Robert Mugabe in office despite being outpolled by opposition MDC icon Morgan Tsvangirai.

“Don’t forget these are the same people who forced the global political agreement in our country when Zanu PF and the late Robert Mugabe were defeated in an election,” Sikhala said.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai settled for a  government of national unity in 2009 after negotiations led by then South African president and ANC leader Thabo Mbeki.

Besides the ANC, other liberation party movements in Sadc have been steadfast in supporting Zanu PF.

These include Angola’s MPLA, Namibia’s Swapo, Botswana’s BDP, Tanzania’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi and  Mozambique’s Frelimo.

Last month, the parties held a summit in Victoria Falls ahead of the 44th Sadc summit to be hosted in Harare in August this year.

While the ANC has been consistent in siding with Zanu PF over rigged elections, last year indications of frosty relations between Zimbabwe and South Africa emerged after Dr Phophi Ramathuba, the head of health in Limpopo province, who was on a tour of Bela Bela Hospital in the region, came across a Zimbabwean woman admitted to the health centre. She blasted President Emmerson Mnangagwa for triggering an influx of migrants in her country due to bad governance.

In 2010, WikiLeaks cables revealed that the United States had haboured a foreign policy to push for Mugabe’s ouster through persuasion of South Africa to implement the agenda, but the country’s leader at the time, Thabo Mbeki, helped Zanu PF to dribble past the plan through the stitching together of a Government of National Unity (GNU).

During the land reform exercise that saw Zimbabwe being isolated by the international community, South Africa stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Harare regime in what came to be known as “quiet diplomacy”.

When Mnangagwa rose to power in 2017 through a military coup, his administration also had a stable relationship with South Africa.

Mnangagwa was hosted in South Africa for weeks after fleeing Zimbabwe following his dismissal as vice-president by the late Mugabe.

During his short stay in South Africa while he arranged the coup with army generals back home to topple the late Mugabe, Mnangagwa met high-ranking officials in the neighbouring country.

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