South Africa’s ruling ANC on Tuesday issued a subtly worded statement to Zanu PF saying sovereignty is not what can be demanded by States but must be earned.
The stern statement by the ANC was the product of a bilateral meeting last week between South Africa’s ruling party and members of Zanu PF’s politburo over Zimbabwe’s precarious socioeconomic and political landscape.
The high-powered delegation to Zimbabwe comprised of six ANC National Executive Committee (NEC) members led by that party’s secretary general, Ace Magashule.
The ANC said no government could do as it wished in modern times against its people without censor.
“Our joint engagement and commitment to the advancement and protection of human rights always remains paramount in the context of acknowledging and upholding our countries as sovereign, which cannot be dictated to,” the ANC said.
The ANC further said the claim to sovereignty could only stick to the extent a country was willing to submit itself to the observance of human rights and “all (other) basic universal freedoms”.
The party’s department of information, however, insisted the mission to Zimbabwe had produced “positive results.
The Press release further expressed ANC’s willingness to continue on the path of “political dialogue” with their Zanu PF counterparts.
“As such, we remain committed to extending the space for political dialogue with a view to advancing the social, political and economic (statuses) of the people of Zimbabwe and South Africa in the context of (enhancing) African unity, and continuing the fight for economic and political emancipation,” the ANC said.
In what was apperantly a tongue-in-cheek attack on Zanu PF’s acting spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa and others of his ilk who seemed to be against an all-inclusive conversation with Zimbabwe’s opposition political parties and other interest groups, the statement said:
“The ANC, therefore, warmly welcomes the constructive approach of Zanu PF with regards to the ANC meeting with other stakeholders, opposition parties and civil organisations in Zimbabwe.
“In this regard, it was agreed that the ANC will, in the foreseeable future, return to Zimbabwe to proceed with these envisaged meetings.”
ANC welcomed what it said was the willingness both by the ANC and Zanu PF to uphold the practice of human rights in both their two countries.
“The ANC further welcomes the joint commitment between the ANC and Zanu PF as liberation movements to upholding human rights, in the context of what we fought for during the struggle against apartheid and colonialism.”
The meeting took place against the backdrop of the arrests of investigative journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and politician Job Sikhala’s arrests on what both say are spurious allegations.
In its closing remarks, the ANC said it was in the interest of both the Southern African Development Committee and Africa to have a prosperous and stable Zimbabwe, adding that they hoped the ongoing “consultation will go a long way in ensuring regional stability and growth”.
Meanwhile, it is estimated that Zimbabwe has over four million of its people who are scattered around the globe, particularly in South Africa as economic and political refugees.