Tuesday, March 12, 2013

(NEWZIMBABWE) ANC pledges Zanu PF election support

ANC pledges Zanu PF election support
12/03/2013 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter

SOUTH Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Tuesday reiterated its support for President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party ahead of elections later this year.

Ahead of a crucial referendum on a draft Zimbabwe constitution on Saturday, the ANC renewed an undertaking to help Zanu PF win the country's general elections, likely to be held in July.

"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," ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza was quoted as saying by the Mail & Guardian Online.

He said Zimbabweans “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.”

The commitment was not exclusive to Zanu PF but “any other liberation movements we have ties with," Khoza explained.

In late 2011, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told a Zanu PF national conference in Bulawayo that his party would support Zanu PF in its mission to retain power at the next national election.

The ANC, he explained, was “willing to assist in coming up with election messages and strategies that would deliver victory” against Mugabe’s rivals, including the two MDC factions led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The comments were criticised because South Africa operated as the chief political negotiator in the power-sharing agreement brokered by former president Thabo Mbeki between Zanu PF and the MDCs, following disputed elections in 2008.

The exact nature of the support the ANC would provide was not made clear but Khoza confirmed it would not be a financial contribution.

"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," he added.

Khoza also said the ANC's support would by no means translate into the South African government providing support to Mugabe or his party.

"Our interaction has never been defined within state relations – it's purely a party-to-party thing."

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