Johannesburg - Claims by African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe that there were forces backed by Western powers pushing for a regime change in South Africa were baseless and signified a party that was afraid of losing power, opposition parties said on Wednesday.
“The statements by Mantashe must be rejected as a reflection of political paranoia in light of the fact that the ANC is going to lose power. They signify a party that is afraid of losing power, which is now seeking to mobilise support in the continent under the pretext that it is the West, and not the genuine demands of the people that are looking for regime change,” said Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
In an interview with reporters in Johannesburg on Monday, Mantashe referred to Zimbabwe, which is ruled by President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF. He said the Zimbabwean opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was used by the West to destabilise the northern neighbour with the aim of removing Mugabe and the ZANU-PF from power.
“It did not start as MDC, it started by a formation of a trade union movement, and then got NGOs that came together and all graduated into MDC, whose intention to simply remove ZANU-PF from power almost succeeded,” Mantashe told reporters.
The Zimbabwean narrative was prevalent in South Africa, where “all of a sudden democratic institutions needed to be protected from us” by people who were not part of forming these institutions, said Mantashe.