Sanctions Against Zimbabwe Should Not Be Dropped Until Human Rights Are Secured

ActionSA rejects the suggestion by ANC Secretary-General, Fikile Mbalula, that sanctions against Zimbabwe should be scrapped and that the United States (US) is attempting to spark a regime change in the country through opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa.

Mbalula made these comments during an ANC Youth League fundraising breakfast in Bryanston, and it reaffirms ActionSA’s view that the ANC’s foreign policy is centred around appeasing allies instead of fighting for human rights.

ActionSA believes that the Zanu-PF, which has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, has been responsible for a number of human rights abuses in the country, ruined the country’s economy and has systematically destroyed Zimbabwe’s democracy.

The thousands of Zimbabweans residing in South Africa bear testament to Zanu-PF’s horrendous rule and human rights abuses. Mbalula’s assertions that sanctions are to blame for Zimbabwe’s woes show either a clear misunderstanding of the extent of Zanu-PF’s damaging rule, or, illustrate a worrying willingness to bend facts to fit the ANC’s narrative.

Instead of calling for sanctions to be removed, the South African government should be using its South Africa’s foreign relations to encourage democratic reforms in Zimbabwe that will ensure that the basic human rights of citizens are protected, and opposition parties are not intimidated.

For the past two decades, South Africa’s global standing has slowly eroded as the ANC government sided with dictators and oppressive regimes. ActionSA believes that the South African people respect human rights and democracy and that our government should side with human rights and democracy in our diplomatic relations.

As a party committed to ethical leadership and rule of law, ActionSA will continue to advocate for human rights in South African foreign policy, and ensure that the country reclaims the respect it lost on the international stage.