A leading South African opposition party is sharply criticizing President Thabo Mbeki?s position on Zimbabwe, calling it a ?disgusting defense of a disgraceful tyrant.?

Mr. Mbeki said Zimbabwe?s critics are using ?human rights as a tool to overthrow a legitimately elected government.? Graham Mcintosh is a spokesman for the Democratic Alliance, South Africa?s second largest party. From Cape Town, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua about why his party is opposed to the Mbeki policy on Zimbabwe.

Mr. Mcintosh says, ?The attempt by President Mbeki to suggest that an agenda, which is for human rights and democracy, is, as he put it, a tool of US foreign policy, is a disgrace. It is a universal and beloved commitment by democrats in all societies throughout the world.?

Regarding the land issue in Zimbabwe, Mr. McIntosh says the ?real issue is commercial farming.? He says President Mugabe has destroyed the commercial mining industry, something that would be comparable to destroying a country?s mining industry.

Mr. McIntosh says, ?Any informed individual who has visited Zimbabwe and seen the reality of the Mugabe regime?s disastrous policies and programs will agree that the sentiments expressed by President Mbeki is utter nonsense.?

Click above links to listen or download De Capua interview.