Tanonoka Joseph Whande
I wish they could find another name for their country.
South Africa’s use of our continent’s name as their country’s name is increasingly becoming embarrassing to Africans.
As Robert Mugabe and his army and police continue to tighten the screws on Zimbabweans, pressure must be brought to bear on South Africa, a country that has always felt obligated to support murderous rulers, first in Rhodesia and then in Zimbabwe.
The day after tomorrow, Saturday, January 21st, will see Zimbabweans and our well-wishers of many nationalities demonstrating and besieging South African High Commissions around the world in an effort to nudge the South Africans to stop their stupidity and their conniving with the rancid Mugabe, a mercenary fighting with himself and who fights against his own people.
The planned international demonstrations are meant to put “another brick in the wall” in a thirty-year-old effort to rebuild Zimbabwe to liberate not only Zimbabweans but the region.
In colonial days, successive, racist South African leaders poured their support and might on a country north of their border.
The country, Southern Rhodesia, was intended to be another province of South Africa, just like Botswana.
Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, was aimed to be a buffer, the last frontier for the Boers down south, after Cecil John Rhodes tried to establish a ‘Cape to Cairo’ corridor of conquest on behalf of the British.
We have seen the likes of racists, such as Hendrik Verwoerd, John Vorster, P. W. Botha and others.
Whoever these apartheid leaders were, they had an obligation to defend, protect and prop up the leadership in, first, Southern Rhodesia and, later, in Rhodesia because, fittingly, to defend your autocracy, you need to go beyond your own borders.
South Africa’s white supremacist presidents and Prime Ministers supported their siblings in Rhodesia in the segregation and oppression of black people.
They stood as one to propagate their evil system; and they almost succeeded, were it not for the international community.
But something confuses me…and it is the black South Africans. I, honestly, can’t believe these black South African leaders.
Since colonial days, South Africa has, somehow, always held sway over Southern Rhodesia, which became a renegade state after the two other countries that formed the ‘Federation of Rhodesias and Nyasaland’ gained independence from Britain.
The ‘Federation of Rhodesias and Nyasaland’ comprised of Nyasaland (now Malawi), Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
It was by design, not by accident, that Southern Rhodesia, being geographically and ideologically closer to apartheid South Africa, was tapped to receive the highest concentration of development assistance.
The South Africans, who now chillingly include the likes of former South African President Thabo Mbeki and current President Jacob Zuma, feel that what their white masters did must not be abandoned.
Mbeki, Zuma and their African National Congress cannot divorce themselves from the lessons taught them by their apartheid masters. It is typical of people who never fought a real war of liberation.
There is absolutely no reason why Mbeki and Zuma should support Robert Mugabe. The ANC of all parties, and especially Mbeki and Zuma, should appreciate the value of freedom.
But what these two men did and continue to do in Zimbabwe is worth both the devil’s fork and matchstick in hell.
They support Mugabe in Zimbabwe, not out of conviction but because the still mentally subjugated couple has to please its masters. They never fought a war of liberation and are not aware of the sacrifices people made. To them, it is party time as their policies send us to graveyards to bury our dead.
So now, I am not surprised that Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change has encouraged its supporters to demonstrate at every South African High Commission offices around the world.
The organisers say that there are several reasons why South African diplomatic offices are targeted around the world.
First, it is recognised that South Africa, through its former President Thabo Mbeki, was the chief architect of the so-called Global Political Agreement (GPA) and the installation of the disastrous coalition government in Zimbabwe today.
But from what has transpired since this GPA was unveiled live on international television is that South Africa, as SADC’s appointed mediator, has deliberately failed to ensure that the GPA is implemented.
It was also South Africa, with China and Russia, that blocked UN Security Council action on the Zimbabwe crisis.
I am hurt when I see that South Africa was liberated by the international community and not by any military confrontation such as we had in Zimbabwe. Yet we have morons in South Africa who, like Joseph Chinotimba who never went to war, sing something about “give me my machine gun” and “Kill the Boer”.
“Give me my machine gun” my foot. Where did Jacob Zuma, or South Africans for that matter, ever really engaged the enemy in combat except for putting burning tyres around their own people’s necks?
Poor Mbeki! He tried to be philosophical and embarrassed himself; he is not brilliant. He only became president through a compromise arrangement.
With microphones under his nose at his inaugration, he told the world about something called “the African Renaissance”, whose basic thrust was ‘African solutions to African problems’.
Pardon me if I have laughed for too long. African solutions to African problems! How many years has the Zimbabwean problem been running?
I have always maintained that South Africa could solve the crisis in Zimbabwe in less than a month, if it really wanted to solve the problem in Zimbabwe. But do they want to?
Has anyone ever thought of the impact if South Africa closed the Beit Bridge border post, even for just a week?
The heart of the matter is that South Africa is killing Zimbabwe. It has no intention to solve the problem in our country.
South Africa must be stopped.
I cannot understand how Thabo Mbeki or Jacob Zuma can sit in a chair once occupied by Verwoerd, Botha or Vorster and then do to Africa what these racist men did to our people and continent until we liberated all of them in South Africa from the jaws of injustice, murder, oppression and subjugation.
The planned demonstrations at South African High Commissions must be supported in every way and through any legitimate means and people of different political persuasions should not think that since most of the organisers are from that political party or other the demonstrations are not their own.
Jacob Zuma and his party are continuing apartheid under a different name.
It is sad that, today, it appears to us Zimbabweans as if there is still white apartheid rulers in South Africa.
The ANC has quickly forgotten who liberated South Africa and considers itself the caretaker of Africa while they support evil rulers in Africa.
Very soon, South Africa will hit the ground hard; very soon South Africa will arrive in Africa. But we already know who our friends are.
The demonstrations are more than a symbolic gesture; and symbolic gestures have effect and impact.
No one knows more about the effect of symbolic gestures more than Nelson Mandela, if you have ever heard of him.
Let us, therefore, be reminded that “South Africa itself was a beneficiary of global protests that resulted in the demise of apartheid and ushered in a new democratic era”, which Mbeki and Zuma are now misusing.
South Africa proposed the GPA yet it watches as Mugabe refuses to implement the terms agreed to; Mugabe and his party do as much as they please at the expense of the party that won elections and South Africa does not care about that, does it?
People continue to be killed and abused; our diamonds are being used to run a parallel government; our media is still in chains; our judiciary continues to be partisan, so is our army and police; we do not even have a voters’ roll.
In the meantime, South Africa continues to deport Zimbabweans to a country where South Africa is presumably trying to bring peace and stop a government from killing its own people.
South Africa is messing up Africa and I wish they could give their country another name, instead of using its geographical location in Africa, when the word Africa is not even an African word.
South Africa has embarrassed us in Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Ivory Coast and even in Sudan yet they jump up to say they represent Africa.
The world must be shown how malicious and incapable South Africa is and why it cannot be accepted as Africa’s leader.
I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my compatriots, is the way it is today, Thursday, January 19th, 2012.