'Sponsored elements' behind Zim protests - ANC

2016-07-12 12:28

Johannesburg - ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has ascribed recent protests in Zimbabwe as efforts by "sponsored elements" to bring about regime change.

Mantashe told journalists in Johannesburg on Tuesday, following the party’s national working committee meeting the day before, that the committee had "expressed concern" about the recent upsurge of destabilisation activities in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

"These activities follow the assessment we had earlier made as liberation movements of the sponsored elements seeking to effect regime change in the region," he said.

The ANC, Zanu-PF and other former liberation movement often have "fraternal" meetings to discuss common issues.

Asked about the economic problems in Zimbabwe, Mantashe said these had been "going on for some time".

He said that was why Zimbabwe currently had no currency, but was dealing in different currencies, including the South African rand, British pound, US dollar and Botswana pula.

"That reflects a long history of difficulties in Zimbabwe," he said.

"Our view is if that economy is not assisted to revive and recover, it will be in trouble there for a long time," he said. This was the responsibility of the people of Zimbabwe themselves, just like improving the South African economy was the responsibility of South Africans themselves, he said.

"But it should never give a licence to regime change elements to revive restlessness in Zimbabwe.

"Every citizen in Zimbabwe should appreciate the difficulties and contribute positively in the economy of Zimbabwe," he said.

Mantashe added that he would like to take journalists to other countries across the continent to see that South Africa’s problems which people protested about were not as bad as in other countries.

He said that was why he wanted to remain in South Africa, "because it is a nice place to be".

Zimbabweans have declared another two days of stay-aways this week, starting from tomorrow, even as the leader of the #ThisFlag campaign, Evan Mawarire, was taken in for questioning by the police on Tuesday.

The protests are linked to the economic problems the country is currently experiencing.

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