Johannesburg – South Africa has said Western sanctions on Zimbabwe are akin to economic terrorism against the entire SADC region.
South African Minister of International Affairs and Co-operation Naledi Pandor this week restated the country’s position on the Zimbabwe sanctions, saying the embargo must end.
This is in line with a SADC common position that all economic sanctions on Zimbabwe must be unconditionally lifted.
“(Zimbabwe’s) stability is very important to our own stability. Their economic progress is important to South Africa’s economic progress …” said Minister Pandor, who also announced South Africa had commissioned research into how the embargo was affecting the economy.
And on Wednesday, the ANC picketed the US Embassy in Tshwane as part of the lobby to end sanctions on Zimbabwe.
The sanctions were imposed at the turn of the millennium after the government in Harare embarked on a land reform programme that transferred ownership of about 6,000 commercial farms from whites to 300,000 black families.
The Southern Times spoke to political analyst Professor Oswald Zviyo who called for the region to treat the sanctions issue with the same importance and attention as they have done the Mozambique terrorist attacks.
“Let’s call a spade a spade. The US and EU must stop this economic terrorism on the SADC region through imposing sanctions on Zimbabwe. A country that was the breadbasket of Africa, what have they done to it?
“This is not only affecting Zimbabwe but the whole region and the continent if I may say. I would personally encourage SADC to petition these authorities with the same urgency and seriousness like they have done with terrorist attacks in Mozambique,” he said.
He went on: “Talk of how many skilled and experienced people that the county has lost due to these sanctions! And again this has put pressure on Zim’s neighbours whose economies are now supposed to adjust their systems to make space for Zimbabweans fleeing economic hardships at home.
“We should never blame politicians for this. My question is, Why not remove these sanctions and give the leadership a rope to tie themselves. If things do not change thereafter, then we will take it from there. This economic terrorism must stop now. Tell these SADC leaders to act now. Am sure they read your paper since it’s for the region. Any SADC leader who is going to read this must tell his counterparts that this economic terrorism on Zimbabwe should stop now. Be serious SADC cdes about this.”