Sunday, August 23, 2009

South African President Zuma Visits Former ANC Guerrilla Camp in Angola

Zuma visits Angola anti-apartheid camp


South African President Jacob Zuma made an emotional pilgrimage last Friday to a former anti-apartheid guerilla camp in Angola where he laid a wreath and paid tribute to fallen comrades.

Angola's ruling MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) was a key ally of Zuma's African National Congress during the struggle against white minority rule with many ANC members sheltered and trained in Angola.

“This is to remind us where we come from and encourage us to work harder for the goals for which many lost their lives,” Zuma said, speaking ahead of his journey to Kibaxi in Bengo Province, north of Luanda.

While the visit has focused on boosting trade, the two countries’ historical relationship has also played an important role with Zuma taking every opportunity to thank Angola and the MPLA for their support for the ANC.

Last Thursday Zuma laid wreaths at a memorial of Angola's first president, Agostinho Neto, and then at the grave of “an unknown” soldier who died in Angola’s liberation struggle with the Portuguese.

Ahead of Zuma’s arrival at the site, Themba Kubheka, South African Ambassador to Angola, told Angolan National Radio: “This is an emotional visit for us.

“We came to say to our people that are buried here in this part of the world, to say to them what they fought and died for has been achieved.”

After Kibaxi, Zuma returned to Luanda for an official leaving ceremony before flying back to South Africa.

The two countries signed a number of bilateral deals, including an oil co-operation pact, aimed at boosting trade and economic exchange. — SAPA.

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