ANC stands up to Mugabe's latest racist rant

You can always tell when President Mugabe is really rattled. It's when he launches into a tirade about white, racist, imperialist conspiracies in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the facts. It has worked pretty well for him in the past but his latest rant only served to highlight the issue he currently wants to bury - the state-sanctioned torture of opposition supporters and the fact that those responsible might now be brought to book in South Africa.

Richard Lee's picture

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Strategic communications for WWF

June 11th, 2012

You can always tell when President Mugabe is really rattled. It's when he launches into a tirade about white, racist, imperialist conspiracies in a desperate attempt to deflect attention away from the facts. It has worked pretty well for him in the past but his latest rant only served to highlight the issue he currently wants to bury - the state-sanctioned torture of opposition supporters and the fact that those responsible might now be brought to book in South Africa.

Opening a meeting of SADC liberation movements in Harare, Mugabe lambasted the recent decision by the High Court in Pretoria to order the South African police and prosecuting authority to abide by the country's legal obligations as a party to the International Criminal Court and investigate allegations of torture by senior Zimbawean officials. And guess who His Excellency blamed? 
 
“We have to be alert and alive as liberation movements because the imperialists are searching for avenues to recolonise us and the recent ruling by a Boer in South Africa...like those outrageous ones of the SADC Tribunal, which has now been dissolved, constitutes a direct assault on our sovereignty by shameless forces afflicted by racist nostalgia.”
 
Warming to his task he then called on the ANC to side with him and "apply every means at their disposal" to stop any investigations from taking place and thereby "ensure that such machinations are not, in the end, allowed to negatively affect our cordial relations.” But - to his utter consternation - the ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe refused stating that "the ANC does not ignore the rule of law, so we respect the ruling made in the High Court."
 
Now there is not much else that Mantashe could have said in public. And it does not mean that there is any political - or police - will in South Africa to actively pursue the investigations despite the clear High Court order. But it shows that playing the racist-imperialist card doesn't always work. 
 

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