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Mugabe/ANC war could spark Xenophobia

by Leletu Leleh Pheloza Miranda
18 Sep 2017 at 18:40hrs | Views
The verbal spat between the two neighbouring countries' political leaders puts many Zimbabweans residing in South Africa in fear of xenophobic attacks. There seems to be no end to the verbal war between the ANC and South Africa's northern neighbour Zimbabwe's Zanu PF.

The spat was sparked by utterances made by the 93-year-old Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, while addressing a rally in his country's fourth largest city, Gweru.

In comments, spoken in Shona and translated on, Mugabe says, "What was the most important thing for (Mandela) was his release from prison and nothing else. He cherished that freedom more than anything else and forgot why he was put in jail." He further states that even some cabinet ministers in the ANC government blame Mandela for leaving 'everything with whites.'

The ANC responded through its Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe. Addressing; Mantashe says, he urged his Zanu PF counterparts to rein-in their president to refrain from denigrating the late former political leader. He says, "Your president is all over Madiba but the reality of the matter is that you have destroyed the economy in your country."

However, the unrepentant Mugabe responded by saying Mantashe 'stupidly reacted' to criticism of Mandela. He says black South Africans are not as free as blacks in other SADC countries are. Quoted in Zimbabwean- state media, The Herald, Mugabe while addressing business leaders insists, "It is true, South Africa is not as free as other countries. There is greater freedom for the whites than there is for blacks. The whites have industries. They can pride themselves- this is my company that is my company, my farm. How far can the Africans go in doing the same in South Africa?"

In response to the salvo, Mantashe took to Twitter. "Zimbabwe should be very thankful to us. President Mugabe cannot insult us. We don't research their crises; we meet it on the street."

"What Mogabe has thought about Mandela being a sell-out might be true, but it does not concern them. The Secretary-General is doing the right thing by shielding the distinction of the late Tata Mandela over the Zanu PF leader." Andile Zwane said. The MUT Financial Accounting student adds on saying Zanu PF has been silent the whole time until the prosecution of Grace Mugabe. We could say the Zimbabwean president is just bitter.

A South African citizen, Mzukisi Matinjwa believes that Mugabe is on point in this case. Matinjwa takes exception to the neighbouring president's remarks. He believes that Mogabe is correct in saying 'South Africa is not economically free'. Hence the is an economic gap between the poor and the elite who control the economy and the means of production. Even Mandela after his realise, just before he took office, once expressed his dissatisfaction with the state of the economy. The first black president placed blame on the rich, like Opreinheimers accusing them of monopolising the economy.

The tiff has however left some Zimbabweans living in South Africa worried. Clayton Simba, a teacher who works in Mthatha thinks the tension between the long time allies might lead to xenophobic attacks. The worst thing is Grace Mugabe attacked a South African model with an extension cord but was let off the hook.'

Will Zanu PF respond to Mantashe's remarks? That is what some people are waiting to see. As it is, it seems the diplomatic gloves are off between the two liberation parties.

Source - mynews24