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South Africa: Zanu-PF refuses to be drawn into Mandela spat

CAPE  TOWN,  South Africa, September 7 (Infosplusgabon) -  Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-PF party refuses to be drawn into a scrap over comments made about global icon Nelson Mandela by President Robert Mugabe.


ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe earlier this week moved swiftly to rebuke Mugabe who had been quoted as saying that the global statesman cherished his personal freedom over the economic freedom of his people, which was the reason why today in South Africa "everything is in the whites' hands".


He was speaking in Shona at a ruling party rally in the central town of Gweru on Friday. Mugabe claimed this view of Mandela was even shared by ministers in Cabinet.


"I was in South Africa recently talking to a minister in President Jacob Zuma’a office and I did ask him how they have handled the land issue after attaining independence. I did ask him why they left the whites with everything. He answered my question in English and said: 'Ask your friend Mandela’.”


This was clearly a step too far for Mantashae who this week told a media briefing in Johannesburg that he had lodged a formal complaint in a telephonic conversation with his counterpart in Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF for Mugabe to stop making “unwarranted and unfortunate attacks” on Mandela.


Mantashe accused ZANU-PF of destroying the country's economy. “The reality of the matter is that you have destroyed the economy of your country,” Mantashe said.


However, Zimbabwe’s NewsDay newspaper reports that Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Moyo said he was unaware of Mantashe’s phone call. “I cannot comment on things that have not been communicated to me,” he was quoted as saying.




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