The releasing of this report to the public will assist in easing off the tensions fermented by xenophobic hysteria on innocent immigrants, who themselves are already victims of tyrants of the likes of ZANU-PF government north of us. South Africa’s continued hideous withholding of this report is mutually tyrannical.
The ANC- led government has for years hoodwinked us on the criminal goings-on in Zimbabwe, with their now famous “quiet diplomacy”. In 2002 the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, during the Thabo Mbeki era, nogal, was also famous for saying “nothing is wrong in Zimbabwe”.
Scores of Zimbabweans have since fled across the borders at high risk to their lives and limb, only to be confronted by a hysterical and uninformed nation, hoodwinked into believing the direct opposite. The very same minister, now in Home Affairs, pretending ignorance is power, spends huge SA government resources trying to mend the same errors of her ways; baby-sitting the same intransigent government, instead of educating her people about the dangers of “quiet diplomacy”.
Thabo Mbeki refused to publish the report during his presidency. Pres Zuma has now applied for leave to appeal against the SCA’s judgment which held that there was no factual or legal basis on which the report should not be published.
The results of the 2002 elections are considered incontestably in favour of the MDC in Zimbabwe. Repressive actions by the Zim government to silence the voice behind the vote constituted institutional violation of human rights and international law, and in many respects, the laws of Zimbabwe itself. Just like apartheid, the UN called it “crime against humanity”, but the apartheid regime, to the world’s chagrin, went on “quietly” doing what they deemed was “right” for them. They met their demise. S.A. wouldn’t be wasting so many resources on Zimbabwean refugees today, if “quiet” was synonymous with “right”.
No wonder Africa seems to go in circles politically, with belligerent despots protected in the name of sovereignty and political buddy-buddy-ism. Is it not highly ironic that the same Thabo Mbeki is today running around Africa as the emissary of peace trying to make “right” what he “quietly” encouraged?
Caleb Thondhlana is a parliamentary researcher. This article was written in his personal capacity.