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S.Africa’s ANC backs Mugabe in Zimbabwe vote

South Africa’s ruling ANC has pledged to support Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party in crucial July elections, local media reported Tuesday.

“Zanu-PF has been governing Zimbabwe since 1980 and we feel they have gained the necessary experience and wealth of knowledge over that time to benefit the people of that country and govern again,” ANC spokesman Keith Khoza told the Mail & Guardian Online.

The ANC spokesman cited the shared ties of the liberation struggle as the reason for the backing.

“This is the same way in which we would consider any requests from any other liberation movement we have ties with,” said Khoza.

“The people of Zimbabwe will decide who governs them, but if called on to assist, we won’t hesitate in coming to their assistance to ensure they are successful,” he added.

Khoza did not reveal the kind of support the party would offer to ZANU-PF.

The July vote is set to end the uneasy coalition government of Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and his rival Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Mugabe, who is 89 years old and has been in power since 1980, will stand for re-election.

On Saturday Zimbabweans will vote on a new constitution that would introduce presidential term limits.