DA castigates ‘liberation’ movements

South Africa’s biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has called on African governments to force President Robert Mugabe to allow democratic reforms in Zimbabwe before they can buy Zanu (PF)’s ‘sanction’ propaganda.

The DA castigated the neighbouring country’s ruling African National Congress (ANC), which it said had failed to clarify South Africa’s foreign policy position on the travel restrictions that were levelled against Mugabe and some of the octogenarian leader’s Zanu (PF) cronies.

The ANC recently joined hands with some so-called ‘liberation movements’ in Namibia last Thursday, where they urged the lifting of the targeted measures against the Mugabe regime, but the DA said this was out of taste and suggested that this should come after democratic reforms.

The DA challenged Zuma’s government to come out clean on South Africa’s foreign policy on Zimbabwe regarding the lifting of the ‘sanctions’.

“We call on the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana- Mashabane, to clarify the South African government’s position regarding the lifting of sanctions and whether the ANC’s proposal accords with the South African government’s position on the matter,” said Kenneth Mubu, the DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, who added that the DA disagreed with the call made by the and its peers in Namibia.

Zanu (PF) and the ANC were joined by representatives of Frelimo (Mozambique), MPLA (Angola), Chama Chama Pinduzi (Tanzania) and Swapo (Namibia), when they issued the statement.

Mubu said that DA also disagreed with the assessment of the situation in Zimbabwe, which buys into Mugabe’s propaganda war against the West.

“International sanctions were put in place to starve the undemocratic Mugabe regime of the money, resources and weapons that it relies on to stay in power,” added the DA official.

The DA, expressing it empathy with the plight of the Zimbabwean people, called on the South African government to use its considerable economic leverage over the Mugabe regime to demand reforms.

“Unfortunately, South Africa has repeatedly failed to use this position of power to promote human rights and democracy on our continent,” said Mubu.

Last Thursday, SA government spokesperson, Jimmy Manyi, said that the Cabinet had finalised a white paper on South Africa’s foreign policy which emphasises the “South African human rights’ posture”, but Mubu said that to commit to a human rights-based approach to foreign policy at government level while calling for President Mugabe to be relieved of international sanctions at party level smacks of hypocrisy.

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