On Tuesday the ANC pledged its support for President Robert Mugabe, and his Zanu–PF party. South Africa’s governing party has affirmed its intention to help Zanu-PF win the Zimbabwean general elections later this year. Keith Khoza, spokesperson for the ANC said:
Zanu-PF has been governing Zimbabwe since 1980 and we feel they have gained the necessary experience and wealth of knowledge over that time to benefit the people of that country and govern again.
The people of Zimbabwe will decide who governs them, but if called on to assist, we won’t hesitate in coming to their assistance to ensure they are successful.
This is the same way in which we would consider any requests from any other liberation movement we have ties with.
At a Zanu-PF national conference in Bulawayo in late 2011, ANC secretary general, Gwede Mantashe told conference goers that the ANC backed Zanu-PF, a party that is widely regarded to have maintained power through flagrant election fraud.
The ANC’s comments have come in for criticism as South Africa acted as chief political negotiator in the power-sharing agreement between Zanu-PF and its opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in the disputed elections of 2008.
The power-sharing agreement saw MDC leader, Morgan Tsvangirai become Prime Minister of Zimbabwe for a “government of national unity”, an idea which Mugabe thought “unnatural” and “unworkable.”
Khoza went on further:
This doesn’t necessarily mean we agree on everything the Zanu-PF does or says. But our shared history means that we have a responsibility to assist each other whenever and wherever possible. Our interaction has never been defined within state relations – it’s purely a party-to-party thing.
Khoza also said the ANC is providing support to the Zanu-PF party and Robert Mugabe, but the ANC’s support does not translate to the South African government providing support.
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