Monday, June 11, 2012
This article was written by Our reporter on 26 September, at 23 : 37 PM
THE secretary-general of the African National Congress (ANC), Gwede Mantashe, has described MDC-T secretary-general Tendai Biti as an “arrogant and confused” minister who does not know the difference between a political party and a Government ministry.
In an interview on Thursday last week in Zimbabwe, the ANC supremo chastised Biti for “lying” that he had met the ANC as a political party when in actual fact he “just met” South Africa’s Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, on “official ministerial” business only.
Mantashe said the ANC, Africa’s oldest liberation movement, had “no business with stooges”.
“That secretary-general of Tsvangirai’s party (Biti) is very arrogant and confused, he thinks if he has met Pravin, then he has met the ANC. Pravin is not the ANC, this is not hard to understand for a lawyer like Biti, hopefully.
“You do not meet a government minister in any country in his capacity as a minister, and not politician, then report back to your friends and wife that you have meet the said minister’s party. No.
“I have met him (Biti) several times in South Africa in the streets, malls and meeting rooms, and that does not mean that his party has met the ANC. You meet the ANC not there (streets, malls and meeting rooms) but at Chief Albert Luthuli House (ANC headquarters in Johannesburg),” said Mantashe.
The tough-talking Mantashe made it clear that the ANC had “no business with stooges” of former colonial masters and would only engage genuine home-grown political opposition parties within and outside Africa.
“Why should the ANC have time to engage stooges of those that oppressed and imprisoned us before? We will, as a party, only have time to spare a thought or two for real home-grown opposition political parties whose founding purpose is anchored on the masses and not some donor funds and neo-colonial interests.
“Besides, why can’t the MDC-T just organise meetings with their fellow stooges, the DA, which they seem to understand well?” he asked.
The Democratic Alliance (DA), an opposition political party in South Africa led by Hellen Zille, who is a rabid critic of indigenisation policies that are meant to benefit the black majority in that country, has been accused by the ANC of defending white privilege.
Mantashe added that his five-member delegation that was in Zimbabwe only met Zanu-PF because of the long-standing relationship that the ANC has enjoyed with liberation movements in Africa, and also because as the ANC they have “never been invited” to “anything” by the MDC-T.
Mantashe, who is also the chairman of the South African Communist Party (SACP), said he last met Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in June this year at the funeral of veteran anti-apartheid activist Mama Albertina Sisulu.
“I have never even met Biti’s boss — Tsvangirai — as the ANC SG or SACP chair. I just saw him at emngcwabeni kaAlbertina, singaqoqanga nokuhlangana,” he said, adding that if the MDC-T “does not repent”, they will achieve “nothing” in Africa.
When asked whether the ANC has met Biti’s MDC counterpart Mrs Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga, Mantashe responded: “As the ANC, we meet those that want to meet us; we do not go around fishing out for opposition political parties to make friendships with. We are in power and have a country to run.
“Those that desire to meet us, show by inviting us for such meetings, and for as long as they fall under what we believe in, we will sit down with them,” he said.
Mantashe flew into Zimbabwe on Tuesday last week leading a five-member delegation. He met Vice-Presidents John Landa Nkomo and Joice Mujuru, several Cabinet ministers from Zanu-PF and visited the National Heroes’ Acre where he laid flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The ANC has strong ties with Zanu-PF and is one of the liberation movements in Africa that have vowed to protect the gains of the liberation struggle against marauding imperial forces that have resorted to installing puppet regimes as a stratagem for manipulating and controlling African nations.