SA economy still too white says Mugabe
Veteran Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, has criticised South Africa for failing to lead economic development in the African Union due to its economy still being run by the white minority.
According to the CityPress, Mugabe made the statement while addressing African diplomats in Beijing, China where he has been seeking investment to help resuscitate his country’s rapidly declining economy.
“We would love to see South Africa taking the lead. But the country’s economy is still controlled by the white community, making it difficult [for blacks] to take charge,” said Mugabe, who took over as chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) last month.
Responding to Mugabe, ANC Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, reportedly told US based Zimbabwean radio station, Voice of America Studio 7, that the ruling party has no plans in place “to drive whites into the sea”, referring to Zimbabwe’s controversial land reform in which over 4 000 former white-owned farms were seized and handed to black Zimbabweans at the turn of the century.
“Your farms will not be grabbed without compensation. All South Africans must have access to land,” Mantashe told farmers at an event held in Johannesburg early August.
“We co-exist, black and white, we are neighbours. It is about talking with neighbouring farmers. It's about helping each other.”
Mugabe’s latest dig at land reform in South Africa, comes after telling television presenter, Dali Tambo - in an episode of his program People of the South last year, that former president, Nelson Mandela, was “to friendly with whites” and “not hard enough” when it came to the topic of land reform.
“Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at the expense of (blacks),” Mugabe said in the interview.
In his closing address after having taken over as chair of SADC, Mugabe said, “We also appeal to South Africa, which is highly industrialised, to lead us in this, and to work with us and cooperate with us and not just to regard the rest of our countries as open markets for products from South Africa.”
IMAGE sourced from www.ibtimes.com
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