HARARE – Former education minister David Coltart on Wednesday said that comments by a top official from President Robert Mugabe’s government slamming xenophobic violence in South Africa were “hypocrisy of the highest order”.
“One cannot pick and choose what types of xenophobia or racism are acceptable or not,” Coltart said in a Facebook post.
“One cannot say that it is fine to make inflammatory racist remarks against one race and then condemn xenophobia or racist behaviour directed against another group,” said the lawyer, who served as education minister during Zimbabwe’s 2009-13 coalition government.
Coltart was responding to Information Minister Jonathan Moyo.
Earlier this week Moyo had hit back at comments from the ANC’s Gwede Mantashe who said the governing South African party “had no desire to drive white people into the sea”.
Mantashe’s remarks may in part have been prompted by Mugabe’s declaration during a state visit to South Africa last week that he did not “want to see a white face”.
In his tweet hitting back at Mantashe, Moyo wrote: “We differ with the ANC on blacks!”
Coltart wrote: “To this day [Mugabe’s] Zanu-PF is still kicking productive white farmers off land, simply because they are whites who do not happen to support them.”
At least 13 white farmers have been killed and tens of thousands of black farm-workers have lost their jobs since Mugabe, now 91, began a programme of white farm takeovers in 2000.
The former education minister said many Zimbabweans who had fled to South Africa during recent years left due to a “succession of brutal and destructive policies implemented by Moyo’s party”.
Zimbabweans were on Wednesday mulling holding protests against xenophobia outside the South African embassy in Harare, according to social networking sites. – News24