The Star, 12 May 2008

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ANC president Jacob Zuma has warned Zanu-PF that old liberation ties would not stop his party from speaking out against the violence and atrocities in Zimbabwe. Zuma was addressing thousands of Cosatu members on Thursday at a Workers' Day rally at the James Motlatsi stadium in Klerksdorp, North West, where he also promised that the ANC would deal with the "scores" of illegal immigrants in South Africa by developing "strong" measures to restrict them. However, Zuma emphasised that the restrictions would be done in line with "the human rights ethos of our country" and also called for an end to xenophobia and acts of violence against foreigners. "We cannot turn our backs on the socio-economic crisis in Zimbabwe. We must develop an approach to deal with the scores of refugees in our country. The ANC government will naturally take strong measures to restrict illegal immigration," said Zuma. He did not elaborate. There are reportedly more than 3-million Zimbabweans - most of them illegal - in South Africa. He said he was "convinced" that Zimbabweans would find a solution to their crisis and urged the international community "to assist in the economic recovery of the country". Dressed in a red May Day rally T-shirt, Zuma warned Zimbabwe's ruling party, Zanu-PF, "as an ally of the ANC", that his party would no longer keep quiet when human rights atrocities were happening in that country. "We are worried about the reports and pictures of beatings and human rights violations that we have seen, and we say they are unacceptable," said Zuma. But he also disagreed with the rest of the world on the view that SA and the Southern African Development Community should "police" Zimbabwe. He urged Zimbabwe's leaders and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to release the presidential election results "immediately".