Ramaphosa’s endorsement of Mnangagwa is an endorsement of Zimbabwe’s suffering

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Leader of the Democratic Alliance
04 Sep 2023 in News

Note to Editors: A voicenote from the Leader of the Democratic Alliance, John Steenhuisen, is attached here

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attendance of Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration as President of Zimbabwe today demonstrates the extent to which the ANC is removed from the plight of the Zimbabwean people under the ZANU-PF’s longstanding autocratic dictatorship, and the ANC’s complete and utter disregard for our own founding principles of freedom and democracy which the ZANU-PF has killed.

By showing support for the ZANU-PF, Ramaphosa is endorsing a stolen government and a stolen democracy that has caused hyperinflation, the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy, the suffering of tens of millions of fellow Africans, and the mass migration of much of Zimbabwe’s population causing immense instability in the Southern African region.

The ANC should hang its head in shame for giving any sense of legitimacy to a party and a government that has violated every one of South Africa’s very own founding values and principles.

The Democratic Alliance stands with the people of Zimbabwe against ZANU-PF’s long-standing regime of military kleptocracy and opposition suppression.

We believe the people of Zimbabwe deserve to enjoy all the freedoms and benefits of a functional democracy: the ability to elect their public representatives in regular free and fair elections; the ability to hold leaders accountable for abusing power; and freedom of speech and association.

Instead, Zimbabwe is an utterly broken country whose 16 million citizens are held in hunger and despair and denied dignity, healthcare and education, so that a small, highly extractive ZANU-PF elite can live a life of obscene luxury in a closed cycle of parasitic dependence.

Observers from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have confirmed that the Zimbabwean election in late August, like all elections since the ZANU-PF’s ascent to power, was conducted highly irregularly.

It is very clear that this election was nothing more than a fig leaf for the ZANU-PF’s re-entrenchment of an extractive and violently oppressive government under the guise of democracy.

The DA views Nelson Chamisa and his Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) as the truly elected leader and party of Zimbabwe.

Evidently, ZANU-PF does too, which is why they went to such extreme lengths to suppress the opposition, including denying them the right to hold rallies and to communicate on the state broadcasting system, and by ensuring insufficient ballot papers in urban areas where the CCC has strong support.

Freedom-loving South Africans should be asking their government and the ANC why they are endorsing violent political oppression, corruption, and civil suffering in our neighbouring country.

No South African should tolerate our government’s complete disregard for the suffering of the Zimbabwean people to sustain an outdated African fraternity that has no place in the free world.

South Africa should reject this fraternity of dictators and instead stand up for the democratic principles upon which South Africa’s constitution is founded.

We should stand by the people of Zimbabwe and use our considerable influence to ensure that democracy returns to Zimbabwe, restoring hope for progress and prosperity in our region.

The DA condemns President Cyril Ramaphosa’s attendance of Emmerson Mnangagwa’s inauguration in the strongest possible terms. We cannot be a country that sacrifices human suffering and oppression at the altar of political expediency.

President Ramaphosa’s actions today have only demonstrated that the ANC does not care about freedom, democracy, and human rights. He has shown the world that the ANC does not have the courage to continue the fight for freedom in our own region that South Africa so valiantly won in 1994.

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