The Sunday Mail
THE continued sanctions on Zimbabwe are part of a broad strategy to effect regime change, and South Africa will heighten its lobby to have them removed, African National Congress (ANC) secretary-general Cde Fikile Mbalula has said.
ANC has resolutely stood in Zimbabwe’s corner in the fight against the sanctions.
In a recent interview with The Sunday Mail in Beijing, China, where he led his party delegation for deliberations with the Communist Party of China (CPC), Cde Mbalula said the sanctions were “imposing economic hardships on the people”.
“There is no justification for the sanctions against Zimbabwe. It is imposing economic hardships on the people. Also, these sanctions are perpetrated for political reasons like regime change by superpower countries, which we don’t support,” he said.
“We are against unjust sanctions against any country. The only sanctions that were justified were against apartheid, because apartheid was inhumane, and the rest of humanity gathered in one corner against the sanctions.”
The ANC, he said, will no longer pursue quiet diplomacy when it comes to the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
“We are working on a very comprehensive action plan and campaign . . . because, as much as we address all the other issues . . . we have a problem next door. It means South Africa must stand up to that. We have been blamed for some time about quiet diplomacy but we need to voice our actions openly in terms of advocating the end of sanctions in Zimbabwe.”
The unilateral coercive measures imposed on Zimbabwe, Cde Mbalula added, had nothing to do with the rule of law but were a reaction to the historic land reform programme.
“In terms of the Lancaster House Conference, we know those who made pledges and agreements in Zimbabwe are now imposing sanctions for the sole reason that they want regime change.
“They have not played their part in terms of land distribution programmes.
“Zimbabwe implemented a land reform programme because of their (West’s) intransigence and not coming to the party in terms of what they committed at the Lancaster Conference.”
He also said the measures are holding back the country’s potential.
“Zimbabwe used to be the breadbasket of the African continent. Zimbabweans never went to South Africa to seek jobs; they were working in their own country, but today, they cross the Limpopo River, coming to work in South Africa illegally because of sanctions.
“We are opposed to sanctions and it is important that all right-thinking and peace-loving people oppose sanctions against Zimbabwe; more so, when sanctions are guided by the policy of regime change, which we don’t subscribe to, as ANC.”