Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe greets ANC Secretary General Manatshe at a summit of former liberation movements in the region. Zimbabwe wons its independence in 1980 and South Africa in 1994., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President slams SA court ruling
Saturday, 09 June 2012 12:00
President Mugabe greeted ANC secretary-general Cde Gwede Mantashe at the meeting of the former liberation movements in Harare yesterday
Takunda Maodza Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe has slammed a recent North Gauteng High Court ruling urging South African authorities to probe alleged human rights abuses in Zimbabwe and bring perpetrators before the International Criminal Court for prosecution.
He said the ruling constituted interference and a direct assault on the country’s sovereignty by residual Rhodesian and Apartheid forces in South Africa.
The President urged the African National Congress to deal decisively with the matter.
He made the remarks while officially opening a summit of former Sadc liberation movements in Harare.
“Naturally, as we develop and enact policies to deliver on these promises to our people such as our land reform programmes and the ongoing indigenisation and empowerment programmes here in Zimbabwe, we are targets for regime change.
“In this context, it is important to remember that this Harare meeting takes place after the recent ruling by one Boer Judge Hans Fabricius in the North Gauteng High Court in South Africa calling on authorities in that country to probe alleged atrocities in Zimbabwe, arrest and prosecute alleged offenders under the International Criminal Court of which South Africa is a party and Zimbabwe is not.
“Needless to say, we take umbrage at these residual Rhodesian and Apartheid forces that are finding space in our midst, to use our courts in a manner that seeks to mollify their defeat at the hands of our liberation struggles and reverse the gains that we have attained for our collective peoples.
“That judgment, like those outrageous ones of the Sadc Tribunal which has now been dissolved, constitutes a direct assault on our sovereignty by shameless forces afflicted by racist nostalgia.”
He urged the ANC to take action.
“I wish to urge our colleagues in the ANC of South Africa to see this for what it is and apply every means at their disposal to ensure that such machinations are not in the end, allowed to negatively affect our cordial relations.”
The President urged delegates to the summit to digest the issue and “pronounce itself clearly against that judgment as one of its resolutions”.
Last month, Judge Fabricius gave a ruling ordering the South African government to investigate alleged State-sponsored violence and crimes against humanity allegedly committed by Government officials in Zimbabwe in 2007.
The ruling followed litigation in March by the Southern Africa Litigation Centre and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum.
Their case was based on a dossier detailing alleged attacks on MDC supporters in 2007 handed to the South African National Prosecuting Authority in 2008, but no formal investigations were launched.
President Mugabe challenged the former liberation movements --- Zanu-PF, ANC, MPLA (Angola), Frelimo (Mozambique), Chama Chamapinduzi (Tanzania) and Swapo of Namibia --- to be proactive in the face of open aggression by the former colonisers.
He said such summits should not turn into talking shops that do not benefit citizens.
“We want resolute and focused implementation of resolutions with tangible results, that has been our hallmark of the struggle, please make it remain so.
“Lest we forget, the purpose of these meetings is to accord former liberation movements an opportunity to deliberate, agree and develop joint strategies to enable us to retain the power we won on behalf of the people.
“This is urgent given that our revolutionary ideologies have come under sustained attack, nay, renewed attack from our erstwhile colonial masters who are determined to replace our revolutionary parties with malleable, neo-liberal stooge parties deliberately formed, built and funded to reverse all the gains of our liberation struggles,” President Mugabe said.
He narrated how the West formed the MDC in 1999 in a bid to reverse the gains of the liberation struggle and went on to locate the hands of the imperialists in uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Ivory Coast and Libya.
“Now being checked in Syria and contained in Iran, this predatory advancing wave of Western liberal imperialism is searching most desperately for other avenues of least resistance in which to express itself.
“We do not have to look far to see the West’s dark hand behind the current disturbances in Mali and Guinea Bissau. See how the carnal forces now seek the imminent balkanisation of Mali into smaller states and similar fragmentation of Libya into three or more separate states.
“As liberation movements, we need to closely watch these and other unfolding situations in the Horn of Africa, in order to be fully alerted to the key role players of Africa’s destabilisation, establish their intentions and conceive ways and means of resisting the savagery of their actions. Africa should never be a colony again!” President Mugabe said.
He said Southern Africa, having been the last frontier of colonialism and by virtue of its high concentration of liberation movements in national politics, was regarded as inimical to the West’s fundamental interests.
The President explained how the inclusive Government came about following the 2008 elections reiterating that its term had expired and the country should go for elections.
He bemoaned the delay in the drafting of a new constitution by Copac that had gobbled over US$40 million laying the blame on the MDC formations and its Western handlers who fear losing the polls to Zanu-PF.
President Mugabe said drafting of the country’s first constitution after Independence in 1980 took “a matter of weeks” yet current Copac efforts have gone for over three years.
“If the new Constitution cannot be finished we are saying there is nothing wrong with the old Constitution. We amended the Lancaster House (Constitution) several times,” he said.
President Mugabe clarified that the Global Political Agreement was never about writing a new Constitution, but creating a conducive environment for the holding of elections.
He said cases of violence have decreased significantly now.
President Mugabe illustrated how the illegal sanctions have paralysed the economy and dismissed the notion that the embargo was targeted.
He warned liberation movements in the region to guard against internal destruction borne out of the desire by some in the ranks of the revolutionary political parties to become leaders.
“The revolutionary parties should watch for tendencies on the part of some within us to want to get to the top or find some ways of being separate or the tendency to be bought over. The West, West, West, is our worst enemy. They will always come clandestinely and want to divide us,” President Mugabe said.
He said such attempts were made in Zanu-PF during the 2008 elections and the party went to the polls divided.
“We have learnt our lessons although there are some people who would never learn. There is always the hand of the enemy,” President Mugabe said.
He said there was also nostalgia by the imperialists to remove governments led by liberation movements from office on the basis that they have stayed in power for too long.
“The democratic path requires that the people decide. It is not the number of years. Parties do not retire, but individuals do. If you can stay permanently in power and the people want you, then you can continue. That is democracy,” President Mugabe said.
The former liberation movements are represented by their secretaries-general.