The response of ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe to the massive civic protest organised by social media activists in Zimbabwe is misjudged.
Mantashe has implied that the actions of social activists like Pastor Evan Mawarire [the #ThisFlag leader arrested by Zimbabwe police for “inciting violence”] are intended to destabilise that country.
Has Mantashe checked out to Planet Zuma? A highly corrupt and repressive government has been destabilising Zimbabwe for decades. Election results are cooked. What more must people do?
Does the SG seriously think South Africans are so clueless and so disconnected from Zimbabwe that we do not know about the crackdown taking place now by the Zimbabwean government against civilians courageous enough to stand up against state corruption, maladministration and the daily shakedowns and extortion of the population by police at roadblocks.
Mantashe should realise that our two countries are intricately connected. We share borders, economies, communities, faiths and knowledge. A person like Pastor Evan, for instance, is not an unknown element on some distant shore. He is a known, respected and loved figure in Christian circles in Zimbabwe and here.
He is a brave man and a patriot. In minimising the plight of ordinary civilians, the SG aligns the ANC yet again with a highly repressive regime. — JG, via e-mail