Zimbabwe has been on the Freedom House hit list for years. Recently President Mugabe has been a vocal critic of the African Union, and an opponent of any foreign intervention in Africa.
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Udo W. Froese
The South African publication, Business Day’s reliable ranting against Zimbabwe’s head of state and government, President Mugabe, cannot go unnoticed. In its Tuesday, February 21, 2012, edition, Business Day of the AVUSA stable in Johannesburg, attempts to discredit President Mugabe in two different articles and its editorial. It so happens to be the 88th birthday of Zimbabwe’s head of state.
That publication with a minuscule circulation of 36 103 copies daily in a country with a population of 50,5 million people according to the Statistician General of South Africa, sketches a stubborn picture of President Mugabe as a “globally reviled devil”, “contrasting starkly with (SA’s media saint) Nelson Mandela”.
“Business Day” reviewed a book from one Heidi Holland on the ANC. The narrow, neo-liberal author is hailed as Nelson Mandela’s close friend, often dining with him. By its own admission, the “Business Day” review states, Holland never had dinner with Zimbabwe’s president Mugabe.
The review points out that Heidi Holland wrote, “In her recounting of the ANC’s struggle, she does not let Winnie Mandela off the hook, describing her leading role in the death of Stompie Seipei Moeketsi. Holland writes of the boy being assaulted on Winnie’s orders, “as well as by her personally”.
The paper further publishes Holland’s writing, “She reminds us that when Moeketsi died from his injuries, the Soweto doctor who had urged Winnie to get him to hospital “was shot dead in mysterious circumstances”.
“Holland does not spare Mandela’s role in trying to save his “mesmerisingly beautiful wife” from her misguided actions”, the ‘Business Day’ further publishes.
It finally needs to be put on record that Winnie Mandela (75) did not murder Stompie Seipei Moeketsi, nor did she order him to be murdered. Madikizela-Mandela was not found guilty of Moeketsi’s murder either.
In fact, Winnie Mandela acted as an African mother. The late Falati from the East Rand came to inform Madikizela-Mandela of the “abuse of young boys in the Methodist Manse, some of them as young as 13 years of age, under then Reverend Paul Verreyn.”
Winnie Mandela then acted, like most African mothers would, and took the boys away from that Manse and away from the situation, they found themselves in. This, of course, seems alien to the Caucasian mindset and upbringing.
It has actually become clear that many of the “atrocities”, Winnie Mandela was framed with, were strategised by colonial-apartheid covert operations to discredit the name Mandela as well as that of the ANC. Both occupied the moral high ground for the majority of the population.
The established neo-liberal civilisation, however, would not have any of that. The status quo of 1948 had to be protected, as racism prevailed. Like almost all media, this Johannesburg based publication insists on continuously attacking African leadership and hailing international Western neo-liberalism for its interference in Africa. One of the three headlines in ‘Business Day’ read, “Mugabe — hanging on to life and power”. Herein, the publication shows its true-blue whole-hearted support of that criminal act of “regime change”.
Unnamed “observers say (in that article of ‘Business Day’) the next election which would end the three-year-old unity government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, could mark the swan song of Mr Mugabe’s 32-year rule”, the said article writes.
In the words of another political analyst, Charles Mangongera, ‘Business Day’ admits, “the undoing for the MDC has been their inability to galvanise the nation in pushing for the reform of state institutions. They have also lost their strategic linkages with their civic partners once they went into the government and this has weakened their ability to mobilise against Zanu-PF’s recalcitrance.”
It comes as no surprise at all, when ‘Business Day’ comments in its editorial, “Mugabe is a poor reflection on SA”, forgetting, or ignoring the then ruling British Labour Party and its Prime Minister Tony Blair’s strategic, deliberate and intentional breach of an historical, binding international agreement, the Lancaster House Agreement of 1979. This agreement forms the corner stone of Zimbabwe’s independence and sovereignty.
Adding insult to injury, London (UK), with the assistance of Washington (US), Toronto (Canada), Brussels (EU) and Canberra/Perth (Australia) put out international sanctions against Zimbabwe. And, the well-established ex-pat Rhodesian community did its best to cause further isolation of Zimbabwe, also operating from South Africa.
In its editorial ‘Business Day’ then writes about South Africa’s role in Zimbabwe, “It reflects badly on SA, the would-be continental economic powerhouse that cannot even bring to heel an economic pipsqueak on its doorstep.”
The publication with its minuscule circulation figures seems misinformed. In fact, it seems as if it has no knowledge of Zimbabwe’s mineral wealth and South Africa’s huge investments; its geo-strategic position as South Africa’s gateway into Central and East Africa, its rather strong and well-disciplined armed forces and last, but by no means least, Zimbabwe’s strategic alliances with powerful partners in the Sadc region.
Udo W. Froese is an Independent political and socio-economic analyst and published columnist, resident in Johannesburg, South Africa.