Speech Given by Deputy Minister Pahad
in Parliament on Tuesday, 13 June 2000
Madam Speaker, Kofi Annan recently noted: "The
time is long past when anyone could claim ignorance
about what was happening in Africa, or what was needed
to achieve progress. The time is also past when the
responsibilities for producing change could be shifted
onto other shoulders. It is a responsibility we must
Today we are acutely conscious of the fact that the
technological revolution and information highway ensures
that we are constantly bombarded with reports of African
conflicts, brutality and famine. The Afro-sceptics and
Afro-pessimists have been reinforced in their conviction
that nothing good can come out of Africa.
A recent editorial in the Washington Post noted:
"Africas apparent hopelessness is now so
widely accepted that it is in danger of becoming a self-fulfilling
Sadly elements on the left side are the Judases in
our country who are the purveyors of not only Afro-pessimism
but also of South African pessimism. The interventions
made by Hon Leon and his party reflects muddled and
distorted thinking of right-wing neo-liberalism and
Like Groebels and Fuehrer Adolph they also believe
that if they continuously repeat lies and distortions
it will become the truth.
Like former President PW Botha, who Hon Leon is emulating,
he also seems to have made up his mind and therefore
refuses to be confused by facts.
They refuse to acknowledge that the South African government
has principally and consistently championed the cause
of democracy, human rights, peace and stability.
Unlike Hon Leon we do not do so selectively.
We have been actively involved in Angola, the DRC,
Ethiopia and Eritrea, Burundi, the Middle East [an issue
on which the Hon Leon is very silent], Western Sahara,
East Timor to mention but a few.
It is in this context that I want to deal with the
hysterical outbursts by elements of the media and members
on the left on the issue of Zimbabwe.
This is a single issue that has been so heatedly raised
by the opposition and sectors of the media. It is not
surprising because conciously or unconciously evokes
memories of the Mau-Mau, rampaging blacks and deep feelings
of kit and kin.
Hon Leon asked whether the ANC would have agreed to
participate in the elections in 1994 if there was intimidation
and violence. I dont know what planet he was living
Is he not aware of Chris Hanis assassination,
the massacres in Boipatong, the killing fields of KwaZulu
Natal and the Rand, and the bombs that were exploding
in many areas.
Does he not follow the proceedings of the TRC which
exposes the horrific actions of 3rd force elements,
right until the eve of the elections? Obviously not.
Hon Leon, Van Schalkwyk and Bible thumping Reverand
must have been too busy fabricating bad speeches that
they failed to read todays newspapers which reported
that President Mbeki yesterday said that "we want
free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. We are against
stolen elections" and South African would not accept
rigged elections in Zimbabwe.
The President has been attacked for our quiet diplomacy
According to the Oxford Dictionary quiet is "calm,
unobstrusive not showy". Diplomacy is "management
of, and skills in managing international relations and
If this is our critics understanding of quiet diplomacy
not only are we willing to defend it, but we will persue
it in Zimbabwe and elsewhere.
In his State of the Nationl address president Mbeki
said "we have resisted the temptation to assure
a counter-productive holier than thou attitude. He went
on to say that this has also contributed to the fight
against the mischieviuos effort to create a psychosis
of fear in our country."
Our primary objective is to ensure long lasting stability
and prosperity in Zimbabwe. This is vital for our own
stability and prosperity.
What have we done?
We have consistantly said that that
violence must end
conditions must be created so that the veterans leave
the land issue must be dealt with in terms of the 1998
The President has repeated this on several occasions
including in Zimbabwe.
The ANC in Parliament has passed several motions on
We have played an important role in ensuring that thousands
of independent observers are in Zimbabwe, including
many South Africans.
We have sought to mobilise funds to help implement
the 1998 Agreement to deal with the land issue.
We have been in contact with all political parties
in Zimbabwe as well as the farmers and the private sector.
We have been in constant contact with the UNSG, with
the Commonwealth, with our partners in SADC, with our
leaders in Africa and Europe to ensure that we achieve
peace and stability in Zimbabwe.
What move do the windbags on the left want us to do.
Are they secretly harbouring the notion that like in
the past we should send in the boys in uniform to sort
out the situation.
Or is it simply an opportunist ploy to get votes in
the local government elections. The DPs election campaign
is trying to use "swart-gevaar" tactics to
stampede minorities to vote for them.
Let me remind them that such tactics were used by fascism
in the 40s and is once again rearing its ugly head in
Europe. This is a dangerous game for the DP to play
in South Africa.
Secondly the DP fails to recognise that progress has
been made in SA.
In his first year as President, all Thabo Mbeki needed
to do to save the Rand was to crush the unions, slash
the civil service, host a fire sale of State assets
and strongarm Mugabe to line.
This is the potted wisdom of a significant past of
SAs population, the part which, 6 years wto the
new South Africa, still controls much of the economy.
But a more sober assessment by some of the countries
most influencial economist in international players
tell a more complex and encouraging story .. how the
top politicians and officials have not done a bad job
at all. (Cape Argus 13/6/00)
Thirdly they continue to refuse to accept that after
years of being a pariah state, SA has joined the community
of nations as a most respected and important player.
The Skagen Declaration
"We the participants of the Nordic-South Africa
Summit, note with appreciation the ever strengthening
ties between South Africa and the Nordic countries,
as evidenced by the unique quantity of the Nordic-south
The Nordic Prime Ministers expressed their support
to President Mbekis African Initiative for rapid
economic growth and sustainable development on the African
(Prime Minister blair) "We congratulate President
Mbeki and his government on their sound management of
the economy, and the principles they are working towards
and we pledge our support for South Africas drive
towards encouraging the rebirth of the continent.
Clearly the President has been acknowledged as a world
Statesman, who is making a profound impact on the worlds
response to Kofi Annans challenge. "The central
challenge we face today is to ensure that globalisation
becomes a positive force for all the worlds people,
instead of leaving billions of them behind in squalor
Market forces alone will not achieve it. It requires
a broader effort to create a shared future, based on
our common humanity in all its diversity". He went
on to say "we must put people at the centre of
everything we do". (Kofi Annan).
It is therefore difficult to understand Hon Leons
ridiculous statement that "the President has taken
on the mantle of responsibility of poorer nations on
the world stage
but he deserves condemnation
[because] the poorest people here at home have seen
little of their President this year. They have even
heard less from him".
How do we develop a people centred modern, prosperous
economy in splendid isolation. How do we tackle the
gross legacies of undevelopment of the past in splendid
How do we ensure that the globalised world economy
works in the interest of all, rich and poor, big and
The Managing Director of the IMF, Michael Camdessus,
called for "a new kind of civilisation to be created
by making global solidarity more than just and
adjunct of national policies". He went on to say
that "the global solidarity required, does not
simply mean offering something superfluous. It means
dealing with vested interests, certain lifestyles and
models of consumption, and entrenched power structures
This demands that we challenge the developed countries
to show the political will to inter alia address key
issues such as:
The cancellation of the Debt-burden of the Highly Indebted
The taking of extraordinary measures to ensure substantial
increase in foreign direct investments in Africa, eg
the Marshall Aid Plan in Europe after the Second World
How to increase the ODA to meet the UN target;
How to give Africa greater market access for its exports,
including agricultural products;
How to ensure the transfer of affordable technology
This is precisely what the President and his government
have been doing. We will ignore the stupid logic of
Hon Leon and continue to do what we have correctly been
doing. We cant do otherwise because the reality
is that the majority of Africans live in countries where
economic progress performed badly or declined. According
to latest UN statistics, of the 5 sub-regions in Africa,
only 2 accounting for only 25% of the continents
population enjoyed a positive growth performance. Growth
decelerated in the remaining 3 sub-regions negatively
impacting on 75% of Africas population.
Many of our countries are saddled with severe debt
problems. In 1980 the total debt stock of the highly
indebted countries, the overwhelming majority of whom
are African stood at about $59 billion by 1997 it had
increased to $201 billion. Outstanding external debts
in many African countries exceed entire GNP and debt
service requirements exceed 25 per cent of their total
export earnings. In the same period, the debt service
paid had increased from $5.9 billion to about $8.7 billion.
Official development assistance declined by almost
a 1/5th in real terms since 1992. It is estimated that
in the period between 1992 and 1997 assistance to the
highly indebted poor countries declined from about $13
billion annually to $11 billion.
Africa has failed to attract substantive foreign direct
investment. Many African countries have taken measures
to create a climate conducive to Foreign Direct Investment,
which includes trade liberalisation, the strengthening
of the rule of law, improvements in legal and other
instruments as well as greater investment in infrastructure
development, privatisation, greater accountability and
transparency, greater degree of financial and budgetary
discipline and the creation and consolidation of multi-party
Since 1990 the profit levels of foreign companies in
Africa has averaged 29%, higher than any other region
in the world. Sadly this has not led to sufficient Foreign
Direct Investment. Africa, which has the highest number
of least developed countries, continues to grapple with
the fact that its share of FDI flowing to developing
countries, declined from more than 11% in the period
1976-1980 to 4% in 1996-1997.
The dire consequences of this is that the largest percentage
of people in the world living on less than one dollar
a day are to be found in sub-Saharan Africa; growth
per capita income which averaged 1,3 per cent in the
sixties, was reduced to 0,8 per cent in the seventies
and further reduced to minus 1.2 per cent in the eighties;
today per capita income is as low as $500 per annum;
electrical power consumption per person is the lowest
in the world; Africa has 14 telephone lines per 1,00
and less than half of 1 percent of all Africans have
used the internet.
Today, it is generally accepted that economic, social
and cultural rights, i.e. the right to sustainable development
that benefits the people, the right to life, the right
to work, education and health is as important as political
and civil rights.
The Vienna Conference on Human Rights also affirmed
that the existence of widespread extreme poverty prevents
the full and effective enjoyment of human rights.
Despots and dictators flourish in an environment of
abject poverty, a sad reality for the vast majority
of Africans. We have to therefore tackle the issue of
poverty if we want to ensure that democracy, good governance
and the rule of law is not only achieved but sustained.
We are not windbags who can indulge in the luxury of
scepticism and despondency, but we must constructively
and critically examine the challenges facing Africa
and the developing countries.
Let me inform the dinossaurs of politics in the Democratic
Party that today a fresh wind of confidence and optimism
is blowing in our continent. South African President,
Thabo Mbeki recently said that "there exists within
our continent a generation which has been victim to
all things which created the negative past, this generation
remains African and carries with it a historic pride
which compels it to seek a place for Africans equal
to all other peoples of our common universe. I believe
that the new African generations have learned and are
learning from the experiences of the past. I further
believe that they are unwilling to continue to repeat
the wrongs that have occurred".
These leaders are leading the campaign for an African
Renaissance, which has as its objectives:
the establishment of democratic political systems to
ensure the accomplishment of the goal that "the
people shall govern";
ensuring that these systems take into account African
specifics so that, while being truly democratic and
protecting human rights, they are nevertheless designed
in ways which really ensure that political and therefore,
peaceful means can be used to address the competing
interests of different social groups in each country;
establishing the institutions and procedures which
would enable the continent collectively to deal with
questions of democracy, peace and stability;
achieving sustainable economic development that results
in the continuous improvement of the standards of living
and the quality of life of the masses of the people;
qualitatively changing Africas place in the world
economy so that it is free of the yoke of the international
debt burden and no longer supplier of raw materials
and an importer of manufactured goods;
ensuring the emancipation of women of Africa;
successfully confronting the scourge of HIV/AIDS;
the rediscovery of Africas creative past to recapture
the peoples cultures, encourage artistic creativity
and restore popular involvement in both accessing and
advancing science and technology;
strengthening the genuine independence of African countries
and continent in their relations with major powers and
enhancing their role in the determination of the global
system of governance in all fields, including politics,
the economy, security, information and intellectual
property, the environment and science and technology.
(President Thabo Mbeki)
We know that these objectives will not be achieved
overnight, it is a process that will take decades. We
have no illusions about the difficult path we have to
traverse. We know that, while we make progress, we will
also have many setbacks. However, we are moved by a
commitment and determination to make this the African