Posted by: APO | 18 April 2008

Zimbabwe / AfriForum’s Protest Action against ship with arms consignment destined for Zimbabwe

Protest Action

19th of April 2008


AfriForum’s Protest Action against ship with arms consignment destined for Zimbabwe


AfriForum will embark on protest action against the arms consignment destined for Zimbabwe, currently on board the ship An Yue Jiang in Durban.  The exact nature of this protest will be conveyed to the media tomorrow, Saturday 19 April 2008, at 12:30 at the Durban City Lodge.  Immediately after the media conference, the protest action will commence from this venue.


For more details or to confirm attendance, contact Kallie Kriel (082-4415073) or Nantes Kelder (084-6198264).


According to AfriForum, the South African Government’s approval for the transport of the arms across South African territory will in effect mean that Government is replacing its ineffective policy of “silent diplomacy” with an even more catastrophic policy of complicity to the state violence and human rights violations committed by the Zimbabwean Government against its own citizens.


The fact that the weapons are intended for the Zimbabwean Defence Force – which has already indicated that it will not accept an election outcome which will oust Robert Mugabe from his seat as President – should in AfriForum’s opinion be reason enough for no government to be prepared to allow its territory being abused for enabling the Zimbabwean Defence Force to be armed in any way.  “The South African Government cannot allege on one hand that it is a champion of human rights, while on the other hand it is playing a significant role in the promotion of human rights violations in Zimbabwe,” said Kallie Kriel, CEO of AfriForum.


Kriel also emphasised that state violence in Zimbabwe not only has negative implications for Zimbabweans, but also influences South Africans negatively.  According to Kriel, the large number of Zimbabwean refugees entering South Africa on a daily basis in order to escape from the state violence in their own country has serious consequences for the socio-economic situation in, as well as the general stability of South Africa.  “South Africa simply does not have sufficient resources to cater for its own poor, and the Zimbabweans who are now fleeing here, are placing a huge additional strain on these already over-taxed resources,” Kriel said.  The growing phenomenon of xenophobia, about which Government expressed its concern this week, for example is a direct result hereof.  Kriel also mentioned that the situation in Zimbabwe already has dire implications for farmers on the South African border with Zimbabwe.


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