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Zimbabwe Activists Target ANC Website

South Africa's ruling party says activists have hacked its website, in a protest against the party's alleged support for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

In a statement Friday, the African National Congress said protesters calling themselves "Anonymous" flooded the website with data requests in a deliberate attempt to crash the site.

The hackers said they represent citizens of Zimbabwe. In a series of Twitter messages, activists said the ANC was being targeted for supporting what they called "mass murdering Mugabe."

Many Western nations have imposed sanctions on Mr. Mugabe for human rights abuses against opponents of his ZANU-PF party. He has also been accused of ruining his country's once-thriving economy.

In May, an advisor to South African President Jacob Zuma said the ANC would continue to stand behind ZANU-PF because of its history as a liberation party.



In Friday's statement, the ANC defended its role in mediating the an end to Zimbabwe's 2008 political crisis which resulted in a power-sharing government between President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

Activists calling themselves "Anonymous" have claimed responsibility for previous online attacks, including attacks against the MasterCard credit card company and the Swiss bank PostFinance.

The attack on the ANC site came a day before the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meets to discuss Zimbabwe's upcoming election.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai is refusing to accept a July 31 election date set by Mr. Mugabe. The prime minister says the country first needs to adjust electoral laws and laws affecting freedom of association and expression.

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