ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: PUXLEY MAKGATHO

ZIMBABWE’s Zanu (PF) was using the newly formed Economic Freedom Fighters to "destabilise us from across the Limpopo", African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday.

Axed ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema’s "protest movement", the EFF, has released its "manifesto" which centres on the Freedom Charter, the founding document of the congress movement. The manifesto calls for the nationalisation of the mines and banks and land expropriation without compensation.

Mr Mantashe on Monday said the EFF was "distorting" the Freedom Charter to further its own ends.

"To me EFF has nothing to do with the Freedom Charter it has everything to do with the influence of Zanu (PF) that’s what its all about," he told journalists at a briefing in Parktown.

He said the ANC was aware that there had been "active engagement" between Zanu (PF) and the former youth league leaders who formed the EFF. Mr Malema frequently visited Zimbabwe during his time at the helm of the youth league and after he was sacked in 2012. Mr Mantashe said part of the battle between the ANC and its youth league, during Mr Malema’s tenure, was the "influence of Zanu (PF) over them and using them to destabilise us from across the Limpopo".

"So it has nothing to do with the Freedom Charter, it has everything to do with what Zanu (PF) has done."

Mr Mantashe at the same time said he "loved" Zanu (PF) but he always told young ANC activists that the fact that the party destroyed the Zimbabwean economy had to be accepted.

"We must say so. They destroyed the economy. In 1980 the Zimbabwean dollar was R1.50, today it has no value.... They have caused a massive destruction to the economy and to me I have an issue with that," he said.

"I will not voluntarily do what Zanu (PF) does because they are my comrades, because I don’t want the South African economy to actually collapse in the same way, we musty do things that are practical, that are sustainable that can continue keeping the economy alive."

The calls made by the EFF based on the Freedom Charter were distorted in their "articulation", Mr Mantashe said.

Land grabs without compensation, for instance, were a distortion of the Freedom Charter. The charter speaks about sharing land among those who work it.

"If you want to create farmers, you are not going to succeed, farmers are not created, farmers are like entrepreneurs, you don’t create them, it’s something you are going to have passion and love for.

"Once you want to create them by force or by hook or by crook, you will see farming as a place for weekend braais," he said.

Similarly, the call for nationalisation by the EFF was a distortion. The charter was explicit that the minerals belonged to the people as a whole, but the Minerals and Petroleum Development Act gave ownership of mineral wealth to the state on behalf of the people.

Zimbabwe reportedly denied allegations that it was funding the EFF. Youth development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere dismissed the allegations as "nonsense" claims, the City Press reported on Sunday.