Statement at the 2735th meeting of the Security Council by Mfanafuthi Johnstone (Johnny) Makatini, 19 February 1987

The delegation of the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), on behalf of the oppressed and struggling people of South Africa, expresses its appreciation of the invitation extended to it by the Council.

We take comfort, Sir, in seeing the Council presided over by you, our dedicated brother, the son of beloved Zambia, a country that has offered itself as a haven to all genuine freedom fighters in the region. The people, the party and the Government of Zambia, under the leadership of Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, have, in accordance with the commitment of the rest of the front-line States, given selflessly to the cause of freedom in South Africa and Namibia. We feel confident, Sir, that under your presidency the urgency that the front-line and other independent African States attach to the speedy eradication of apartheid and its replacement by a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa will be addressed and translated into concrete action.

My delegation also takes this opportunity, to congratulate your predecessor, Mr. Andres Aguilar, of truly anti-apartheid Venezuela, on the skilful manner in which he handled the Council`s affairs last month. We recall with pride that not long ago our President, Oliver Tambo, had the honour of receiving on behalf of Nelson Mandela the Simon Bolivar Award, an illustrious award that our colleague shares with His Majesty King Carlos of Spain.

The African National Congress of South Africa has come to urge the Council to take immediate and effective action in accordance with the Charter against the Pretoria regime, whose intensified brutal repression of a defenceless population, the carnage it has caused among that population and its frequent armed aggression against the neighbouring States constitute a threat to peace and international security.

Since the Council last met on this question the situation internally and in the region has deteriorated alarmingly. The regime has proclaimed two Draconian states of emergency in less than two years. It has detained without trial more than 30,000 compatriots, 40 per cent of whom are children under 18, including several hundreds under 13. Through its security forces and surrogates, the vigilantes, it has murdered over 3,000 patriots, many of whom are youths, children and infants. It has imposed a news blackout, thereby becoming the sole source of information.

The regime has directly and through its surrogates, the local vigilantes, RENAMO and UNITA, carried out wanton acts of terrorism against the people of South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It has deployed more than 34,000 troops to occupy 96 townships as well as various labour compounds and schools throughout the country. It has detained thousands of youths in the so-called re-education centres, obviously designed to effect behaviour modification, most probably for future use in the furtherance of State-promoted and so-called black-on-black violence.

Further to the electrification of the border fences and the fencing of the townships, the regime has embarked on a hideous programme of building a wall around Soweto, an act generally viewed by our people as intended to facilitate complete control, if not acts of genocide. It has repeatedly contravened international law, violating the sanctity of its neighbours` international borders and abducting refugees, accusing them of being members of the ANC or ANC sympathizers.

The regime, which has arrogated to itself the right to intervene militarily in all African countries, made open threats to Samora Machel three days before his untimely, tragic death, whose cause is yet to be established.

Two days ago the representative of the Pretoria regime, in what I believe was his maiden speech in the Council, insulted the intelligence of the Council and the international community by stating:

"Power in South Africa resides in the hands of the moderate majority. That moderate majority includes blacks, whites, Asians and Coloureds”.

What a preposterous untruth! Has not the United Nations since its inception been seized of the South African problem, which is to this day characterized by the denial of basic political rights to the majority of its population, which enjoys no right to vote or to be elected to the law-making institutions?

Permit me to tell the Council of a different voice from the privileged class in South Africa - that of the leader of a group of students from Stellenbosch University, that bastion of Afrikanerdom, of which P. W. Botha is Chancellor:

“We are a generation that has been fed on a gospel of lies by our so-called leaders”.

Having met the ANC leadership in Lusaka, and being convinced of the sanity of the ANC programme, as reflected in the Freedom Charter, those students returned to South Africa and published a pamphlet in which they demanded that the regime negotiate with the ANC. The students thus became part of an ever-growing constituency, whose representatives have been trekking to Lusaka to meet and hold discussions with the ANC, a group that includes eminent businessmen in South Africa, religious leaders, black business leaders and English-speaking and Afrikaans-speaking students.

I shall not subject this Council to a tedious, irrelevant and unnecessary rebuttal of the Alice-in-Wonderland expose of apartheid South Africa`s alleged commitment to reform. It is perhaps too early to expect the newly arrived representative of the Pretoria regime to recognize that apartheid cannot be reformed but must be destroyed. As our President, Oliver Tambo said: "Apartheid either is or is not. And it must not be”. However, we look forward to his enlightenment by his exposure to the international community and we will welcome his defection to join his former colleagues who, like a growing number in the country, have resigned high-ranking government posts and are distancing themselves today from P. W. Botha and his so-called reforms.

Inasmuch as the people of the world became outraged and made common cause against Nazism in Germany and fascism in Italy, we believe that the peoples of the world today must embark on a similar concerted onslaught against apartheid. The fact that apartheid is an offshoot of Nazism is made abundantly clear by the statement made by John Vorster in 1942 when he was detained for his role as a general in the fifth column, a secret organization, the Ossewabrandwag­. I am referring here to the former Prime Minister of South Africa, John Balthazar Vorster, who said:

"In South Africa we stand for Christian nationalism. It is called fascism in Italy and national socialism in Germany”.

Consequently, the philosophical underpinnings of the regime do not lend themselves to meaningful reform or change.

In his statement marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the ANC, Oliver Tambo said:

"In its permanent light all can see clearly the nasty brutishness of the external relations which our oppressors have sought to maintain, relations based on racial superiority and domination, oppression, war and murder, underhand dealings and lies.

"The time has come when the world, especially the United States, the United Kingdom, the Federal Republic of Germany, France and other major Western powers, must finally no longer associate themselves with and encourage the pursuit of such relations and the commitment of these crimes. Surely the time is upon us when the democratic movement of our country should everywhere take its place as the rightful representative of our people”.

In its bid towards the liberation of South Africa and Namibia, the United Nations General Assembly has, since 1962, adopted numerous resolutions calling for the imposition of comprehensive mandatory sanctions against South Africa. This noble effort by the overwhelming majority of mankind still awaits endorsement by this Council. Furthermore, the international community, outraged by the criminality and brutality of the apartheid system, has for some years now been exerting pressure on respective Governments. It was as the result of such pressure that the Bahamas Commonwealth Summit established the Eminent Persons Group, which called on the Pretoria regime to dismantle apartheid, lift the existing state of emergency, release Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners, lift the ban on the ANC and other political organizations, and also called for the simultaneous suspension of violence in order to begin the process leading to a negotiated settlement in South Africa.

Although convinced that the Pretoria regime was not amenable to such a rational position, it should be recalled that the ANC, true to its pragmatism, agreed to co-operate and to give the negotiated concept of the Eminent Persons Group a chance. The Pretoria regime, for its part, unleashed a virulent attack against the Eminent Persons Group during its visit in South Africa and, on 19 May 1986, a few hours before a scheduled meeting in Cape Town, carried out unprovoked attacks against civilian targets in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe, thereby torpedoing the Commonwealth initiative. The Eminent Persons Group arrived at conclusions in favour of sanctions. About the same time, the World Conference on Sanctions against Racist South Africa, meeting in Paris, also arrived at conclusions in favour of comprehensive mandatory sanctions against South Africa. That historic Conference also triggered a greater momentum in favour of sanctions against the Pretoria regime throughout the world, including the United States of America.

We salute the peoples of the world, the natural allies of the oppressed people of South Africa and Namibia. We commend the anti-apartheid people of the United States of America who are opposed to the policy of constructive engagement, and also those Congressional leaders who have accurately assessed the mood of the times and the wide consensus within their country and have waged a bipartisan campaign that resulted in the enactment of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986. In this connection, we urge those forces to remain vigilant against bogus withdrawals by some corporations and to campaign for the inclusion of so-called strategic minerals in the list of items not to be imported from South Africa.

The African National Congress is today more convinced than ever before of the urgent need for the international community to exert maximum pressure, including the imposition of comprehensive mandatory sanctions against the Pretoria regime. It is for that reason that we join those who have preceded us in commending the conclusions of the Advisory Committee established by Secretary of State George Shultz on 19 December 1985, which declared that "the most effective external pressure will come from a concerted international effort”. The committee continues,

"We recommend that the President begin urgent consultations with our allies, especially Britain, Canada, West Germany, France, Japan and Israel, to enlist their support for a multilateral programme of sanctions drawn from the list of measures included in the Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986”.

We urge Member States to support the draft resolution submitted by the non-aligned countries as the first important step towards the desired international action.

We seize this opportunity to reaffirm our position as expressed by our President in a statement delivered on the occasion of the ANC`s seventy-fifth anniversary and in keeping with our conviction that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no Government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people. In pursuing this point, President Oliver Tambo declared:

"For us, it is of special importance that the new reality should reinforce and entrench what we are accomplishing now, in struggle: the building of a nation of South Africans. It must reflect and enhance our oneness, breaking down the terrible and destructive idea and practice of defining our people by race, colour or ethnic group. The revolution will guarantee the individual and equal rights of all South Africans, without regard to any of those categories, and include such freedoms as those of speech, assembly, association, language, religion, the press, inviolability of family life, and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention without trial”.

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