More ‘Pandoring’ to Zimbabwe’s Zanu-PF

What Pandor won’t say – because it is ANC policy not to annoy despots – is that Zimbabwe will never recover until there are free and fair elections.


South Africa must assume a significant portion of the culpability for the economic meltdown and political oppression in Zimbabwe which has seen millions of its citizens heading south to try to find a better life.

That is the reality which International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor was not discussing at her symposium in Pretoria about the role this country can play in getting European and US sanctions lifted against our northern neighbour.

It goes back to 2002, when then president Robert Mugabe effectively stole the election and entrenched his Zanu-PF party in power. Mugabe kicked out European election observers, who were witnessing the brazen subversion of democracy by Zanu-PF.

A South African observer mission, sent to Zimbabwe by then president Thabo Mbeki, made similar findings … but its report was buried by Mbeki and the ANC.

After that election, the Europeans and Americans imposed sanctions on individuals and organisations linked to Zanu-PF. This appears to have escaped Pandor and the ANC. While there has been collateral damage to some parts of the Zimbabwe economy the sanctions were never imposed on the country as a whole.

The US sanctions particularly demanded respect for human rights and a return to true democracy. If anything, since Mugabe was deposed by his own military in 2017, his successor Emmerson Mnangagwa has continued the ruling party’s brutality and corruption.

Those are the things which are continuing to destroy Zimbabwe. Ask any Zimbabwean.

What Pandor won’t say – because it is ANC policy not to annoy despots – is that Zimbabwe will never recover until there are free and fair elections … and Zanu-PF is tossed into the rubbish bin of history.

No amount of diplomatic waffling will change that home truth.

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.