African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Ace Magashule has issued an angry statement in solidarity with Zimbabweans who have taken to the streets to protests against sanctions imposed on the country by the United States (US) and the European Union (EU).
The statement, written on behalf as the ANC, does not mince words in its opposition to what it describes as “neo-colonialism” on behalf of Western countries.
It expresses solidarity with Zimbabwe in the same “context” as past support the ANC has shown for Cuba, Venezuela, “the State of Palestine”, and the “people of Western Sahara”, against “meddling” and “regime change plans , in which many Western European nations and the EU slavishly follow the USA lead”.
“As the ANC has stated with conviction many a time at the United Nations (UN), and other international platforms, these actions contravene international law, and are illegal acts of political and economic prescriptiveness, followed by the bullying of sanctions when the dictates of Big Brother are not accepted and implemented, that can never be accepted by any proud and sovereign nation.
“The African National Congress will never allow such meddling in our own internal affairs, and as such integrity and principles dictates that we must also show our unwavering solidarity and support for fellow nations that are subjected to such international thuggery.
“International relations can never be ruled by the law of the jungle, where might is right, and economic power and military superiority become the only norm.
“As the ANC, we will never tolerate such conduct, because we understand very well the day we allow this to continue, not only other nations but also our own hard fought liberation of our sovereign nation will be fundamentally compromised and in jeopardy.”
The statement accuses the USA and the EU of trying to force “political and economic reforms”, which it says are “diplomatic code words of the USA and their lackeys to actually say: ‘Do as we say, or else’.”
It further accuses the USA and EU of using sanctions in an attempt to “subdue foreign nations” and make them “subservient service and raw material providers”.
The full statement can be read below, as it was shared on Twitter by uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MCMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus.
It’s possible, in fact, that Niehaus may have played a hand in the writing of the statement, or even authored it in full, as News24 reports that he has been working at Luthuli House since January and is believed to be working as something of an unofficial spokesperson for Magashule. The statement is also written in Niehaus’ trademark hyperbolic style.
— Carl Niehaus (@niehaus_carl) October 26, 2019
Thousands of people gathered for an event in protest of sanctions on Friday — which was declared a national holiday — waving posters and banners as they marched towards the national sports stadium.
Some rode on top of buses, chanting slogans.
“Sanctions are a crime against humanity,” read one banner.
“ZIDERA must go,” said another, referring to sanctions imposed by the United States in 2001, at the height of land reforms that saw hundreds of white-owned farms violently seized.
Tensions escalated further when the Mugabe regime kicked out European Union observers and cracked down on opposition party members ahead of a presidential vote in 2002.
The sanctions were aimed at high-ranking officials and government institutions, including travel bans on Mugabe and his inner circle.
US President Donald Trump extended the penalties in March to more than 100 individuals and entities, Mnangagwa included.
On Friday, the president and his wife Auxilia paraded through the streets of Harare, escorted by a brass band playing religious and political songs.
“We know very well that the sanctions are neither smart nor targeted,” he said in an address to the crowds at the stadium.
“Their impact on our daily lives is immeasurable and the consequences are dire.”
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman. Background reporting, AFP.)