Claims by African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe that there were forces backed by Western powers pushing for a regime change in South Africa, have sparked the anger of opposition parties.
Both the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Congress of the People (COPE) said the claims were baseless and signified a party that was afraid of losing power.
In an interview with reporters in Johannesburg on Monday, Mantashe referred to Zimbabwe, which is ruled by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF. He said the Zimbabwean opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was used by the West to destabilise the northern neighbour with the aim of removing Mugabe and the ZANU-PF from power.
He then said the Zimbabwean narrative was prevalent in South Africa, where “all of a sudden democratic institutions needed to be protected from us” by people who were not part of forming these institutions.
EFF’s Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said Mantahse must be told that whilst the ANC and ZANU-PF share common history in that they are both liberation movements, they also differ in significant ways.
“The ANC, unlike ZANU-PF never liberated the country through a guerrilla war, or even conventional war. The South African struggle was won not because of the strength of liberation movement armed forces, but the resilient protest activities of unarmed youth and workers’ movements.”
“The second significant difference that Mantashe must know of is that the ZANU-PF government, unlike the ANC government, expropriated land from white people.
This is the pragmatic basis upon which many revolutionaries, now and then, believed in the claim that MDC was being used by Western forces to remove the ZANU-PF government. Regardless of all its weaknesses, ZANU-PF became the target of the West because of its refusal to concede on the land question,” Ndlozi said.
Cope’s Spokesperson Dennis Bloem said Mantashe’s claims are spurious and baseless
“Mantashe’s accusations are bizarre, baseless and spurious. They must be rejected with the contempt they deserve. If he has proof, let him act on it. If he hasn’t, he must not invent fictional politics and make that pass as real politics,” said Bloem.
He added if the claims are true, the foot solders working in the country with instructions from the West, should be identified by the government.
“Why does the intelligence agency not act to bring them to book? It is common cause that when a lie is spoken often enough, it becomes politics. That is what it has become: new ANC politics,” added Bloem.
By Senzile Kubheka