by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has dismissed claims by a local newspaper that President Cyril Ramaphosa was funding Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-A).
The daily Star newspaper peddled the claims its front page article on Monday, when it alleged Ramaphosa bankrolled the troubled opposition led by Nelson Chamisa, in order to topple the governing Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF).
ZANU-PF, currently led by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the ANC are longtime allies with their relations dating back to the liberation struggles.
Pule Mabe, the spokesperson of the ANC, expressed the party’s shock at the report by the newspaper.
“Just like you have read in the newspaper (The Star), we are equally shocked with the article,” he said an interview with CAJ News Africa on Monday evening.
“Honestly, we know nothing about that newspaper report. ZANU-PF and ANC are former liberation movements with the same historic backgrounds in liberating their own respective countries from colonial rule,” Mabe added.
He said relations between ANC and ZANU-PF were solid and from time-to-time, they met to discuss issues of mutual consent while exchanging notes regarding socio, economic and political situations in their respective countries and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
CAJ News Africa earlier contacted Ramaphosa’s acting spokesperson, Tyrone Seale, who also professed ignorance at the reports.
“Kindly discuss this matter with the ANC,” he said referring CAJ News Africa to the country’s ruling party.
Ramaphosa over the weekend told his party that both ANC and ZANU-PF had a long-shared struggle against colonialism, which solidified their ties.
“We (ANC) have deep and strong links with ZANU-PF,” the South African president said.
He alluded to last year’s trip to Harare by a delegation of the ANC to assess the political situation in Zimbabwe.
“So, as far as we are concerned, there is nothing amiss and there is nothing we could say we have to hide,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa noted that at government level, he appointed envoys – Dr Sydney Mufamadi and Baleka Mbete – as his Special Envoys to Zimbabwe.
“I am also in contact with President Mnangagwa on an ongoing basis,” Ramaphosa was quoted as saying.
South Africa is credited with helping ease political tensions in Zimbabwe.
In 2008, then-president Thabo Mbeki brokered a peace deal between ZANU-PF and MDC, then led by Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai respectively, both now deceased.
– CAJ News