SW Radio Africa (London)

16 April 2014

South Africa: SA Opposition Warns of 'Zanu-Fication' of ANC

South Africa's main political opposition has warned against what it calls the 'ZANU-fication' of the ANC government, saying Jacob Zuma's party is increasingly reflecting the values of Robert Mugabe's party.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Helen Zille made the comments this week as her party is fighting against the national broadcaster's decision to ban one of the party's election campaign adverts.

The SABC refused to air the advert, which strongly critcises the Zuma led administration and the state of South Africa since Zuma came to power.

Zille said the saga over the banned advert showed that the ANC government was undermining institutions that should be independent, threatening to set South Africa on a course similar to that taken by Zimbabwe under ZANU PF.

"If people are not frightened, they are not following the news. The fight is not between the SABC and the DA. It is between the SABC and all South Africans who believe in freedom of speech, information and political contestation," Zille said.

Joy Mabenge from the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said the negative connotations associated with ZANU PF have been created by the party's anti-democratic values.

"Anything referred to as ZANU-ised is basically about a liberation political party that then turns against those it claims to have liberated," Mabenge told SW Radio Africa.

He added: "The mark they (ZANU PF) are leaving on SADC and the rest of Africa is a mark associated with the lack of willingness to allow democracy to thrive. It is a legacy associated with the lack of willingness to open up spaces and allow competition and alternative views. I don't think any political party would want to be associated with this legacy, but unfortunately it has happened."

He echoed Zille's warnings to the Zuma led ANC, saying the party should "be aware of the pitfalls of being ZANU-ised."

"The legacy that liberation movements have of liberating their people is one they should strive to protect, unlike ZANU PF. The ANC should watch out against the pitfalls of the ZANU-fication of its legacy and struggles and history," Mabenge said.

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