Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ANC Statements: Commemoration of the Battle of Cuito Cuanavale; Recent Developments


The African National Congress joins the world as it marks the anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

We extend our best wishes to the people of Angola, Cuba, Namibia and South Africa on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of one of the most important episodes of both the civil war in Angola (1975-2002) and the South African Border War. The armies of Cuba, Angola and South Africa met at Cuito Cuanavale in 1987 for this battle that has been called 'Africa's largest land battle since World War 2.'

The victory of Angolan and Cuban troops in that war marked a turning point in the war of aggression against the Angolan people, laying the basis for the independence of Namibia and contributing to the eventual commencement of negotiations in South Africa.

As part of our commemoration of this important historical event, the ANC has sent a delegation to Angola led by President Jacob Zuma. Other members of the delegation include ANC deputy Secretary General Thandi Modise, NEC members Ebrahim Ebrahim, Collins Chabane, Billy Masetlha, Ayanda Dlodlo and Angie Motshekga.

A Parliamentary delegation will depart from Pretoria on Friday in a convoy to Cuito Cuanavale to commemorate the battle.

The delegation includes military veterans from both sides, representatives from government, scholars and civil society.

At its meeting held this past weekend, the ANC National Executive Committee paid tribute to the many thousands of Angolans, Cubans, Namibians and South Africans for their sacrifices in the fight against the forces of apartheid and imperialism in the protracted Angolan war.

The ANC also wishes to pay tribute to the Russian people for their support in this war.

South Africa is a liberated nation today due to the contribution of those who sacrificed their lives in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

Issued by African National Congress
Chief Albert Luthuli House
54 Sauer Street

19 March 2008
For more information contact: Jessie Duarte on 079 506 6756



The African National Congress has noted the announcement that power utility Eskom has applied to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa for a 53 % hike in electricity tariffs.

The ANC is concerned that such a move, if implemented, would have adverse effects on the daily lives of the poor people of our country.

We find it unfair that while Eskom has not demonstrated any ability in dealing adequately with the current power crisis, they are eager to call for tariff hikes that would hit consumers hard in the pocket.

The South African Reserve Bank has also warned in its quarterly bulletin that higher electricity prices remain a threat to inflation.

The ANC calls on Public Enterprises Minister Alec Erwin to urgently address this issue with Eskom.


The ANC has noted COSATU's call to have the outcomes of the work of the ANC NEC Committee tasked with establishing more facts around the arms deal, made public.

The ANC is loath to have discussions with its Alliance partners in the media.

Once more we wish to put it on record that the ANC has not commissioned a public report on the arms deal. The NEC has set up a committee to compile a comprehensive report on all aspects of the arms deal for the purpose of its own internal discussions.

This by no implies that members of the current NEC are not familiar with aspects of the arms deal. The NEC simply wants to have a factual report to enable all its members particularly the new ones, to understand all facts related to the arms deal.

We call on the leadership of COSATU and its members to utilise processes and platforms available to both of us, to engage on issues of mutual concern and interest. We hope that our upcoming Alliance summit would further serve to have some of these issues addressed in detail.


The 21st of March 2008 is a very special day in our national calendar.

This day marks the anniversary of the brutal massacre of innocent citizens that took place in Sharpeville 48 years ago.

Members of the community who were protesting against the unjust apartheid laws were shot at by a vicious police force, many of them losing their lives.

The ANC joins millions of other South Africans as we remember these freedom fighters that sacrificed their lives to secure the freedom and democracy we all enjoy today. Their contribution to the struggle for our liberation will never be forgotten.

As we celebrate what has since come to be known as Human Rights Day, the ANC wishes to call on all South Africans to work together in protecting and strengthening our democracy in honour of our fallen heroes.

The ANC remains committed to building a non-racist, non-sexist society that respects the diverse cultural and religious backgrounds of all South Africans.

Let us join and celebrate with our Muslim brothers and sisters as they mark the birth of prophet Mohammed.

Let us also join our Jewish brothers and sisters as they celebrate the festival of Purim.

We wish members of the Christian community a peaceful Easter weekend as they mark the day Jesus Christ was crucified.

The ANC also wishes South Africans who observe African religious practices well during their Harvest Festival.

We urge all South Africans to observe and respect the rules of the road as they embark on their journeys to different parts of the country. Remember that the responsibility of reducing road carnage lies with all of us.

Drive safely and arrive alive!

Issued by
African National Congress
Chief Albert Luthuli House
54 Sauer Street

19 March 2008
For more information: Jessie Duarte on 079 506 6756

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