05 Sep Tambo Foundation Statement on Attacks Foreign Nationals
Johannesburg, South Africa: 5 September 2019 –The Oliver & Adelaide Tambo Foundation has noted with grave concern and great sadness the recent spate of xenophobic attacks that have taken place in South Africa. The Foundation calls on all South Africans to recognise the inherent rights of all who live in South Africa as set out in our constitution. We also call on government, civil society and all relevant stakeholders to find a peaceful and swift resolution to the crisis that takes a long term view in addressing the systemic causes of these violent outbursts.
During his almost 30 year tenure as the President of the African National Congress, Oliver Tambo garnered the support of a number of African nations, who showed their unwavering commitment to the anti-apartheid movement in word and in deed . .
Tambo was hosted and protected in Lusaka for decades by Kenneth Kaunda. Julius Nyerere allowed the ANC to have military camps in Tanzania as well as to set up the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College for young South Africans driven into exile by apartheid tyranny. Tambo frequently expressed thanks on behalf of the oppressed majority in South Africa for the assistance of nations such as Ethiopia, Morrocco and Nigeria for providing military training or political support. Our youth studied in Lesotho, Swaziland, Nigeria and Egypt. Furthermore, the Organisation of African Unity (African Union) provided assistance to liberation movements, affording them Associate Member status in line with Article II (1)d of its Charter that sought to “eradicate all forms of colonialism in Africa”. It was the Harare Declaration, drafted by Oliver Tambo and taken by Robert Mugabe to the UN that opened the way for negotiations for our new Constitution.
The price that the Frontline States paid for their support for our liberation struggle was enormous. Bridges were blown up and electricity lines brought down. Racist troops drove deep into Angola, provoking a bitter civil war that devastated the country with huge loss of life. Pretoria also sent commandos into Mozambique, sowing death and destruction, and supporting a civil war that led to millions of refugees and hundreds of thousands of deaths. President Samora Machel’s plane was brought down on South African soil by a false beacon. The economies of the region were seriously undermined. The cost in blood and treasure was immeasurable.
Over and above the damage they have caused to historic relationship between South Africa and the rest of the continent, the looting and violence meted out to foreign nationals is an affront to our country’s Bill of Rights which enshrine the rights of all who live in South Africa to human dignity, equality and life among others.
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