Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has reportedly accused ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe of “foolishly” telling him to stop attacking former president Nelson Mandela’s legacy.
News website NewZimbabwe.com reported earlier this year that Mugabe criticised Mandela for leaving whites with “everything”.
Speaking at the Gweru Youth Interface rally in Harare recently, reports claimed Mugabe said he talked to a minister in President Jacob Zuma’s office and asked him why the ruling party left “everything with whites”.
“I was in South Africa recently talking to a minister in President Jacob Zuma’s office, and I did ask him how they have handled the land issue after attaining independence. I did ask him why they left the whites with everything. He answered my question in English, and said: ‘Ask your friend, Mandela.’
“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 said.
“Look at what he produced. Is this what they agreed upon with the whites? Mandela believed to be equal with the whites, and made the biggest mistake of forgetting the land issue.
“They [whites] are in control of land, industries and companies, and are now the employers of the blacks. These blacks have failed to liberate themselves from white supremacy, all because of what Mandela did,” he was quoted as saying.
It seems Mugabe’s remarks angered Mantashe, who did not hold back from defending his former president. IOL has reported Mantashe said he personally raised his concerns with Zanu-PF.
“I phoned the secretary-general of Zanu-PF and told him that Mugabe may be all over Madiba, but the reality is that you’ve destroyed your economy.
“We continue to create black millionaires in this country – including Zimbabwean millionaires. So restrain your president from making statements that are unresearched,” he was quoted as saying.
The 93-year-old reportedly hit back at Mantashe on Thursday, saying the decision to correct his remarks was not wise.
“We did not fight just for freedom. I make this remark in regard to South Africa. And what do they call him?
“Gwede Mantashe stupidly reacted [to criticism of Mandela]. Yes, they only fought to remove apartheid. This was it, we talked to them,” he was quoted as saying.
Mugabe reportedly further criticised the ANC for taking “the easy way out”, which apparently explained why some whites supported the ruling party.
“They [the ANC] left the very persons they said had imposed apartheid on them in control of the resources. Praise God, if the future will yield for them true independence.
“And Gwede Mantashe was foolishly reacting to what I had said. That’s it, it’s the truth: South Africa is not as free as the other countries of SADC,” he added.
Mantashe reportedly defended his statement, saying he would not back down on his criticism of Mugabe.
“They need to give South Africa space so that we can fix this country,” Mantashe told The Star.