Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
ZANU-PF will send a delegation to South Africa to attend the African National Congress (ANC) “Siyanqoba” star rally at the Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg on Sunday ahead of the country’s national elections next Wednesday.
The ruling ANC has won the majority vote since the country attained independence in 1994.
A record 48 political parties will be contesting in this year’s polls and the most prominent challengers to the ANC are the Democratic Alliance (DA) led by Mr Mmusi Maimane and the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) fronted by Mr Julius Malema, the ruling party’s former youth leader.
According to poll surveys conducted in the country, the ANC is tipped to win the majority of the 400 seats being contested in the National Assembly.
Zanu-PF Secretary of Administration Dr Obert Mpofu said former Senate president Cde Edna Madzongwe and Cde Mail Nkomo will represent the ruling party at the rally. “I was there two weeks ago to lend our support as a party but for the Sunday programme, the party has sent Cdes Madzongwe and Nkomo to represent us,” said Dr Mpofu.
“Our message to our fellow liberation movement that championed the liberation of South Africa is that we wish them success in the coming elections, we also wish that they conduct their elections in a free and fair environment.”
Other parties invited for the rally include the People’s Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), Basotho National Party (BNP) and All Basotho Convention (ABC) both from Lesotho, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from Tanzania, SWAPO from Namibia and the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO).
Zimbabwe and South Africa share cordial relations on both levels of state and party with Zanu-PF and the ANC being liberation movements that brought independence to the two countries.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, after assuming the country’s Presidency last year, has been a strident anti-Zimbabwe sanctions campaigner himself.
In January, he took the campaign to the 49th edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, where he publicly called for the lifting of the embargo.
Last year, he also called on the European Union (EU) to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe during the 7th South Africa-European Union Summit in Brussels, Belgium, where they discussed a number of issues around trade, climate change, women’s rights among other global issues.
The EU and the United States of America maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe, with the EU having progressively loosened the measures.
The US remains adamant, tying the punishment of Zimbabwe and Zanu-PF to give an advantage to the opposition MDC-Alliance.