Ramaphosa Defends ANC’s Invitation to ZANU PF Amid Opposition Backlash




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JOAHHENSBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has brushed off criticism from opposition parties regarding the African National Congress’ (ANC) decision to invite Zimbabwe’s ruling party, ZANU PF, to observe the upcoming May 29 elections, asserting that their involvement will not compromise the integrity of the electoral process.

Addressing concerns raised by opposition parties during a campaign event in Atteridgeville, Ramaphosa defended ZANU PF’s participation as merely observational, emphasizing that observer missions do not interfere but rather come to witness the electoral process firsthand.

He stated, “An observer mission is not an interfering mission, it’s to come and see. They don’t interfere, they don’t get involved, they just come and observe.”

Ramaphosa further underscored the transparency of South Africa’s electoral process, highlighting the presence of various global organizations such as the United Nations, the African Union, and the European Union, which will also monitor the elections. He dismissed the concerns raised by opposition parties, suggesting that their apprehensions reflected baseless fears.

“We are transparent, there’s nothing hidden and we are also going to have many other global organizations [such as] the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union will also be here,” Ramaphosa assured.

However, South Africa’s opposition parties remain skeptical of ZANU PF’s involvement, citing the party’s history of election rigging and electoral malpractices in Zimbabwe. Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Solly Malatsi condemned the ANC’s decision as a “desperate” attempt to maintain power at any cost, warning that ZANU PF’s presence could compromise the Electoral Code of Conduct.

Similarly, Build One South Africa (BOSA) president Mmusi Maimane expressed concerns over ZANU PF’s track record, asserting that the party’s involvement could undermine the fairness of South Africa’s elections.

“It is now widely accepted that ZANU PF rigs elections in Zimbabwe,” Maimane stated, highlighting the potential threat to the integrity of the electoral process.

Vuyo Zungula, leader of the African Transformation Movement (ATM), escalated the opposition’s response by writing to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), urging the commission to reconsider allowing ZANU PF to observe South Africa’s elections. Zungula argued that ZANU PF’s presence risked tarnishing the legitimacy and credibility of the country’s electoral processes.

As the debate over ZANU PF’s participation in South Africa’s elections intensifies, the ANC faces mounting pressure to address concerns raised by opposition parties and ensure the transparency and fairness of the electoral process.

With the elections drawing near, the role of observer missions and the scrutiny surrounding ZANU PF’s involvement are poised to remain contentious issues in the political landscape.