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Zanufication of the ANC on

by Staff reporter
19 May 2024 at 11:52hrs | Views
AS South African general elections approach, the country's governing ANC is increasingly undergoing a further Zanufication process as it openly accepts offers of help from Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF which has always won polls through manipulation, fraud, vote-rigging, intimidation and violence.

South Africa goes to elections on 29 May.

They are widely viewed as watershed polls as they come three decades after the fall of apartheid in 1994 and the advent of black majority rule under Nelson Mandela.

Since 1980 when Zimbabwe became independent, Zanu-PF has always won elections through brutality, vote-buying and electoral theft even at the height of its popularity.

Only last year in August, the party stole Zimbabwe's polls through illegalities, systematic electoral manipulation and voter suppression on a massive scale.

The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) rejected the outcome, but the ANC embraced it.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is one of the few Sadc leaders who attended President Emmerson Mnangagwa's inauguration.

Sadc leaders will meet in Harare in August for their annual summit and Mnangagwa will become the regional bloc's chair for a year, even though his re-election was collectively rejected by his counterparts.

South Africa is supporting Zimbabwe in the process to sanitise the stolen elections.
Under South Africa's founding democratic leader, Nelson Mandela, the ANC did not have close relations with Zanu-PF.

It maintained close ties with its old liberation ally, the now defunct Zapu.

The ANC under Oliver Tambo and Zapu led by Joshua Nkomo (and their respective military wings uMkhonto weSizwe and Zipra) had close relations during the liberation struggle in the 1970s and shared trenches in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Angola.

Mandela and the late former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe were uneasy comrades and rivals. They openly clashed on many regional issues and Zimbabwe's internal political and economic crisis later.

However, Mandela's successor Thabo Mbeki forged close relations with Zanu-PF even at the expense of old ties with Zapu. When Mugabe came to power in 1980, Tambo sent Mbeki to Harare to talk to him to get support for the ANC's liberation struggle effort.

Mugabe assigned current Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to talk to Mbeki about it.

Mugabe then took a decision that Zimbabwe - which had been helped by other countries in the region during the struggle - would only assist the ANC politically and diplomatically, but not materially and militarily. The new Zimbabwean leader then announced it publicly.

The ANC and MK suffered a massive setback as Zapu and Zipra were no longer able to help them during the struggle.

 Yet Mbeki doggedly defended Mugabe and Zanu-PF later at the height of Zimbabwe's political and economic implosion, inevitably clashing with those who wanted change in the country.

Zimbabwe's opposition and Western countries blamed Mbeki for protecting Mugabe and Zanu-PF at home, regionally and internationally.

Combined with China and Russia, South Africa ensured Mugabe and Zanu-PF's political survival, even at United Nations level.

In 2008, China and Russia blocked a United Nations Security Council resolution on Zimbabwe.

In July that year, the UN Security Council measure intended to impose sanctions against Mugabe failed when two of the 15-member body's permanent members - China and Russia - voted against a draft resolution that would also have imposed an arms embargo on the country, as well as a travel ban and financial freeze against the president and 13 senior government and security officials considered most responsible for the violent crisis there.

The result of the Security Council's vote was nine in favour (Belgium, Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, France, Italy, Panama, United Kingdom, United States), to five against (China, Libya, Russia, South Africa, Vietnam), with Indonesia abstaining.

The draft text would have determined, under chapter VII of the United Nations charter, that the situation in Zimbabwe posed a threat to international peace and security in the region, and would have demanded that the country's government immediately ceased attacks against and intimidation of opposition members and supporters, while beginning a "substantive and inclusive political dialogue" between the parties with the aim of arriving at a peaceful solution that "reflects the will of the Zimbabwean people and respects the results of the 29 March elections".

Just like Zimbabwe's opposition MDC, the European Union, including Britain then, and the United States wanted Mugabe out. But Mbeki wanted change from within Zanu-PF and thus helped the party to engage with the opposition to contain the situation threatening to engulf Mugabe.

When Mugabe and Zanu-PF lost the 2008 elections, leading to the UN Security Council move, before the late former president bounced back in June through a campaign of violence and intimidation in a run-off, Mbeki negotiated a government of national unity in Zimbabwe between Zanu-PF and the opposition MDC, which lasted from 2009 to 2013.

In the process, he facilitated some reforms like creation of a new constitution, but overall retention of Mugabe and Zanu-PF in power was his strategy.

When Zimbabwe failed to release presidential election results for six weeks in 2008, Mbeki defended and justified that as part of a "meticulous verification" process by the discredited Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.

Mbeki even went further to rewrite history about how the ANC and Zanu-PF related during the struggle to defend Mugabe. When Mugabe died in 2019, Mbeki sang his eulogy at a time when most Zimbabweans were blaming him for ruining the country and impoverishing its people.

Mbeki's successor, Jacob Zuma, maintained good relations with Zanu-PF and Mugabe, but threw him under the bus when the 2017 military coup came by refusing to rescue him as the Sadc chair.

Despite Zanu-PF's history of violence, manipulation and fraud, the ANC is willing to accept help from the party in the name of revolutionary solidarity and winning elections.

Zimbabwean state media on Tuesday reported that Zanu-PF has offered and been called on by the ANC to assist with its final stretch of campaigning ahead of South Africa's crucial elections on 29 May.

The state-controlled Herald reported that Zanu-PF had "been invited by [its] colleagues in the ANC to be part of their mobilisation process in the last few days of campaigning".

 Zanu-PF secretary for administration Obert Mpofu told the Zimpapers flagship daily, which generally reflects government policy positions, somewhat cryptically, yet revealingly: "We have been in touch with the South African ruling party.

What is happening there is an internal issue which we are closely monitoring. "I cannot rule out the fact that we can go and assist if they need assistance from us.

There are pressing issues that need to be addressed by South Africans on the political developments taking place there."

This week, ANC stalwart Tokyo Sexwale was heard singing a Zanu-PF liberation struggle song in broken Shona while on the campaign in Katlehong in the East Rand in Johannesburg.

On Wednesday, South African Broadcasting Corporation TV reported that ANC deputy secretary-general Nomvula Mokonyane told journalists while campaigning in KwaZulu-Natal that her party had called on "African leaders" to act as election observers, while willing to learn from Zanu-PF.

"We must also learn from how Zanu-PF has been able to renew itself and even reclaim constituencies that in the past they have not," Mokonyane said.

"Same with us, we have to reclaim and prepare a takeover of the lost metros in South Africa." Mokonyane was referring to recent Zanu-PF performances in August elections last year and subsequent by-elections where it picked more seats in Harare.

However, the reality is that Zanu-PF remains a rural party, exiled to its remote political heartland more than two decades ago.

Zimbabweans in urban areas have long rejected Zanu-PF which only survives in power through electoral fraud.

By so doing, the ANC, which has had close internal liaisons with Zanu-PF in recent years and months, is now willingly and enthusiastically undergoing Zanufication.

Zanufication of the ANC refers to cooperation, similarities and shared interests between the South African governing party and Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF.

Some of the similarities include:

1. Hegemonic tendencies;

2. Abuse of incumbency;

3. Corruption and cronyism;

4. Economic mismanagement

5. Hidebound nationalism and anti-imperialist rhetoric;

6. Patronage and nepotism;

7. Use of state institutions for partisan political gain;

8. Intolerance of criticism and dissent;

9. Failure to deliver basic social services; and

10. Entitlement to rule forever.

Analysts say the ANC has adopted some of the same authoritarian and populist tendencies which characterise Zanu-PF's failed rule in authoritarian Zimbabwe, threatening South Africa's democracy and stability.

However, other critics say it is also important to note the two parties have distinct histories, contexts and circumstances, so the critical comparison should be nuanced throughout.

Source - newshawks
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