AFRICANGLOBE – I would like to ask the Zulu king, does he know what Alfonso Dlakama’s values and principles are. If he does not he is not alone. Nobody else does.
Yet Dlakama is a looming figure in Mozambican history. He was a huge factor in conflict that almost brought Mozambique to its knees. Dlakama is like a tokoloshe that was set upon the Mozambican people. The reason being they dared support the liberation of South Africa. His only source of strength, was the support he got from the apartheid regime led by PW Botha. They supplied him with the best arms, sometimes helped him with secret commandos.
He wreaked havoc. Mozambican lives were lost. Infrastructure was destroyed, roads and railways planted with land-mines. Zimbabwe was sucked into the conflict too. It had to send its army to help Mozambique survive the onslaught by this surrogate of the apartheid regime. In retaliation Matsangaise (as RENAMO rebels were called in Zimbabwe) began hit and run raids into Zimbabwe, killing and maiming many people along the long border with Mozambique.
Samora Machel Death
Mozambique’s commitment to South Africans liberation was so unselfish and so un-shirking that Mozambique’s first president, Samora Moises Machel died on South African soil. The theory believed by some is that his plane was diverted by a false beacon set up by agents of the apartheid regime. Instead of approaching Maputo the plane followed a beacon into the hills of Nkomati where it crashed. Some claims say Machel survived but was finished off by South African agents.
Why did this happen to Machel? Because he was an unwavering and committed supporter of South Africa’s liberation. A policy he pursue at great cost to his own country, and people. That is what African brotherhood is about.
In 2008 Ernesto Nhamauve perished. Like many Africans delighted at the liberation of South Africa he had moved there, thinking he was going to live among brothers. Alas! He was mistaken. He died at the hands of the very people his native country suffered so much to liberate. He died a painful tortured death. He was necklaced. Burnt alive. An image of him on his hands and knees engulfed in flames still haunts the memories of many.
He was necklaced in a street full of people. Journalists’ cameras were busy clicking away at the spectacle of his death. The police were there. An image of one of them using an industrial fire extinguisher, belatedly smothering the flames that took his life, also haunts many memories. The people who necklaced him were photographed. Many bystanders from the area were also photographed. To any competent police force, there were hundreds of leads that could have led to the arrest of his killers.
To this day, seven long years later, not single person has been brought to trial for his murder. This day, Ernesto’s people, and other Africans, are again targets of the very same people they suffered so much to help liberate.
When you listen South African leaders speak, they sound like they are more worried about apologising to South Africans for the presence of “foreigners” than condemning the violence. They often repeat anti-foreigner hearsay, as if trying to offer a context to xenophobia. That is if they admit xenophobia is taking place right now. In most cases they offer the hollow excuse of it being ‘only a few criminal elements’.
Assassinations And Bombings
When ANC offices and safe-houses in Harare were infiltrated and bombed by PW Botha’s agents on 19 May 1986, Robert Mugabe was at the scene the very following morning. His declaration of commitment to South Africa’s liberation was not laboured, punctuated by excuses or tongue-chewing statements.
“Zimbabwe will not be deterred from rendering assistance to the liberation movement of South Africa”, he clearly declared. In Zambia, also attacked on the same day, Kenneth Kaunda immediately promised revenge for the attacks on the ANC.
Contrast that with the doddering response to xenophobia. Zuma has to be cajoled into saying anything at all, let alone show concern by visiting victims.
Yet today, people who are enjoying the fruits of that liberation, chew their tongues when Mozambicans, Zimbabweans and Zambians are attacked for absolutely no reason. They show more sympathy for criminal activity than they show for human rights.
Zambia and Malawi were liberated. Mozambique and Angola were liberated. Then Zimbabwe was liberated. As each of these countries got freedom, they immediately picked up the task of helping the next country. The frontline of liberation slowly marched southward, until only South Africa was left.
Cornered, the apartheid regime thought the best way to halt the steady march of liberation, was to take the battle to those countries that were already liberated. At first they used surrogates like RENAMO and Super Zapu (not Zapu). Then they send in their commandos and army into the places that troubled them the most.
The biggest modern military battle ever fought on African soil, was at Cuito Cuanavale. Angola was the main host and trainer of Umkhontho weSizwe and SWAPO fighters. PW Botha had decided to send in his army to deal with the growing problems of MK and SWAPO once and for all.
It was when their army lost the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola, that the apartheid regime came to the realisation that their only way out was to negotiate. If they didn’t they would eventually be driven into the sea.
One hand does not wash itself. It was when the two hands of South Africans struggling internally, and the frontline states fighting the apartheid military where they could, washed each other, that the filth of apartheid and racist idiocy was finally washed away from our continent. Now if one hand is cutting off the other one, one day it will be unable to wash itself.
I would like to ask Goodwill Zwelithini, did Samora Machel die so that his people could be necklaced on Johannesburg streets? Were ANC safe-houses bombed killing Zimbabweans so that Zimbabwean toddlers and their mothers could be burnt on Durban streets?
Anti-African Violence In South Africa: Africans Murdered And Their Businesses Looted And Burned