Interview Joseph Madzimure
Our Senior Reporter Joseph Madzimure (JM) was in Victoria Falls last week covering the 10th plenary session of the meeting Former Liberation Movements for Southern Africa secretaries- general, whose aim was to find solutions to new threats from neo-colonial forces.
He caught up with African National Congress of South Africa secretary- general Cde “Ace” Elias Sekgobela Magashule (AM), who spoke about the meeting, state of affairs in the region and xenophobic attacks taking place in his country.
JM: What is the importance of having the FLM secretaries-general meeting?
AM: This is the time for Africa and the region to come together, to unite, integrate and built a strong, better economy because we are the largest market. When we come together as a continent of Africa, as well as BRICS, we are going to be very powerful.
JM: The SADC region is under threat from erstwhile forces who are sponsoring opposition parties to dislodge revolutionary parties from power. What tactics have you employed to counter imperialist forces?
AM: I think we made a clear resolution that our emancipation is not yet complete because we have political freedom. This is time for economic freedom and this economic freedom must happen in our lifetime.
I am sure that all the eyes are going to be on Africa because we have the advantage that we are young, advantages of having real resources. We are endowed with mineral resources. We are Africans, we live in our continent. That is why the unity of our people is very important because when we have unity we can stand against coercion, hegemony.
This is the time to renew and make sure that we are in touch, not only with our membership structures, but with society in general. Those organs of people’s power, it is time to revive them and ensure that we are rooted among our people, and these are the resolutions that we have taken.
We need massive political location so that we go back to our roots. We must come out of this mental stagnation and our consciousness must come back. I think that the death of former President Robert Mugabe has reawakened the giants in Africa.
This is the time to flashback and reflect and look at whatever shortcomings we had and we have now taken a decision that we need to move forward and that is why on the 25th of October we will be supporting the anti-sanctions campaign. As SADC region, we said as a liberation movements in Southern Africa, we must support this campaign because neo-colonialism is still very active.
JM: Speaking of sanctions, what is the ANC position on the declaration by SADC countries of October 25 as solidarity day against illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe?
AM: We are looking forward to participate in the anti-sanctions solidarity campaigns to be held here in Zimbabwe on the 25th of October 2019. These will be a culmination of solidarity by all progressive forces against the aggressive counter-revolutionary US policies towards many countries of the world.
JM: The objective of imperialists force is to divide Africa and derail the achievement of the revolution. What is the region doing to ensure the achievement of intended goals?
AM: These unfolding events of far-reaching political significance require our honest analysis of both the subjective and objective factors and, therefore, requires a profound deeper analysis of the balance of forces in the region, the continent and the world over.
We are infiltrated as a region. Imperialist forces are trying to weaken us. Balance of forces are not in our favour. I am sure that as liberation movements, we have analysed correctly and we have looked at ourselves and are saying; “Let us keep up with the reality of today”.
JM: We have recently witnessed xenophobic attacks in South Africa. What do you think is the reason why the perpetrators are targeting only African nationals?
AM: Thank you for bringing that subject. The xenophobic attacks are regrettable. The acts are targeting to remove democratically elected leaders of our people by erstwhile forces who want to destabilise the SADC region.
Neo-colonial forces want to divide our liberation movements through funding reactionary forces, in the form of NGOS, opposition parties and imposing economic sanctions, undermining legitimate election results and therefore effecting regime change strategies and accusing most of the popular leaders of our people, saying they are dictators.
In South Africa, forces of regime change are fuelling xenophobic warfare against Africans. The main aim is to perpetuate disunity and therefore weakening the unity that exists in the region.
JM: I understand the most affected nationals are from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia.
AM: If you follow the events taking place in SA, well, six South Africans have been killed. South African shops have been burnt to ashes, so it is not only our neighbouring African countries. What we need is to distinguish xenophobic attacks from criminality. Our people are not against fellow Africans staying alongside them in our country, our people are against druglords and those who are selling fake foods to our communities and therefore plunging the economy and the health of our people into an endemic crisis.
Anyone who intends to abuse the fight against criminality by stoking the evil fires of xenophobia must be resisted with every revolutionary fibre in our bodies.
JM: Some people are saying South African authorities are not doing enough to protect fellow Africans from the barbaric acts.
AM: So far more than 600 people, including South Africans, have been arrested in connection with xenophobic attacks. We have put in place measures as the ruling party to ensure those involved will not be granted bail.
We are working on putting mechanisms in place in our party structures from cell level to the national level to monitor any activities of xenophobic tendencies.
You cannot be a foreigner in Africa. We are Africans; we live in the same continent. We come from the same womb of Mother Africa. What we must understand is that we are on our own as Africans and this is the time for us to unite.
The reactionary forces, counter-revolutionaries are going to infiltrate us, they are going to be part of us, they are going to sing the same songs, they are going to wear the same clothes, they are going to speak our language, whilst dividing us.