Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade and South African ANC leader Jacob Zuma have harshly condemned Robert Mugabe's campaign of intimidation, but the Zimbabwean leader Tuesday vowed the elections would "go on". (Report: A. Singh)
South Africa's ruling ANC party on Tuesday issued its harshest criticism to date of Zimbabwe's government, saying it was "riding roughshod over the hard-won democratic rights of the people".
"We are deeply dismayed by the actions of the government of Zimbabwe which is riding roughshod over the hard-won democratic rights of the people of that country," the African National Congress said in a statement.
"As democrats, the ANC cannot be indifferent to the flagrant violation of every principle of democratic governance."
The criticism was striking in view of historical links between Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party and the ANC, both of which fought white oppression in previous eras.
ANC leader Jacob Zuma also said "we cannot agree with ZANU-PF," according to SAPA news agency.
"We cannot agree with them on values ... We fought for the right of people to vote. We fought for democracy."
Zuma, who spent years in prison under apartheid rule in South Africa, said that the electoral process in Zimbabwe had been completely "discredited."
He said Zimbabwe needed a negotiated political arrangement ahead of an election.
"You now need a political arrangement there and then further down the line an election ... We continue to engage with ZANU-PF and the (opposition) MDC," Zuma said.
He also called for urgent action from the United Nations and regional bloc SADC on Zimbabwe, according to SAPA.
Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has withdrawn from Friday's presidential election since he says violence has made a fair vote impossible.
He has taken refuge in the Dutch embassy in Harare, where he has been for nearly two days.
Date created : 2008-06-24