Mugabe: Mandela ‘forgot why he was in jail… that’s why everything in SA is in whites’ hands’

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Gweru – President Robert Mugabe says Nelson Mandela cherished his personal freedom over the economic freedom of his people, which is why today in South Africa “everything is in the whites’ hands”, reports say.

The 93-year-old president was speaking in Shona at a ruling party rally in the central town of Gweru on Friday.

“What was the most important thing for (Mandela) was his release from prison and nothing else. He cherished that freedom more than anything else and forgot why he was put in jail,” Mugabe said, in comments translated by news website NewZimbabwe.com

Mugabe claimed this view of Mandela is even shared by ministers in President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet.

“I was in South Africa recently talking to a minister in President Jacob Zuma’s office and I did ask him how they have handled the land issue after attaining independence. I did ask him why they left the whites with everything. He answered my question in English and said: ‘Ask your friend Mandela.'”

This was the second time in recent days that Mugabe has hit out at Mandela’s legacy. He made similar remarks at a state funeral last week.

Mugabe said on Friday that Mandela had made “the biggest mistake” by failing to attend to land reform in South Africa.

Said Mugabe: “They (whites) are in control of land, industries and companies and are now the employers of the blacks. These blacks have failed to liberate themselves from white supremacy all because of what Mandela did.”