‘Street woman’ slur: ANC works behind the scenes – Mantashe

The ANC dealt with Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s insults against its presidential envoy Lindiwe Zulu behind the scenes, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said.

Mantashe told journalists at a briefing on its weekend lekgotla in Luthuli House, Joburg, this afternoon that President Jacob Zuma and the ANC would have told Mugabe quietly if they didn’t like his labeling of Zulu as “stupid” and a “street woman” at a rally earlier this month.

He said Zulu had, among others, been tasked with the responsibility of communicating for the Southern African Development Community facilitation team on Zimbabwe, but “if I read what the president (Jacob Zuma) is saying” it would have been “more sensitive for her to confer” before communicating outcomes, he said.

He added the ANC felt she was doing a good job.

Mantashe said it wasn’t for the ANC to pronounce on Zimbabwe’s readiness for the elections, but he said the facilitation team expressed “concern” about preparations and that they had wanted an extension of the elections date.

He said observers would pronounce whether the elections were free and fair.

Zuma told Zulu off in a press statement yesterday through his spokesperson Mac Maharaj, who said some media statements attributed to her had been “unfortunate”.

Among others, Maharaj said it wasn’t true that Zuma had called Mugabe to express concern about preparations for the election.

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