Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party made a U-turn on previous criticism it made of South African President Jacob Zuma and the South African Development Community (SADC), according to comments published by state media on Friday.

Mugabe in a speech to party members two weeks ago accused Zuma and the South African Development Community (SADC), the 15-nation regional alliance, of interfering in Zimbabwe’s affairs. State-run media also launched attacks on Zuma, accusing him of ‘bungling’ and being a ‘primitive leader.’

‘Government has never and will never attack SADC. We are friends and allies,’ Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was quoted as telling SADC ambassadors in the Herald newspaper. ‘If there was any attack, it was not from government but from somewhere (sic).’

SADC is the guarantor for Zimbabwe’s two-year-old coalition government between Mugabe and pro-democracy Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Zuma is its official facilitator.

A meeting of the SADC committee on security and politics on March 31 had demanded that Mugabe stop violence, intimidation, hate speech and harassment of opponents.

It also asked him to carry out a wide range of political reforms outlined in the coalition deal he signed Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change party, but is accused of refusing to carry out.