Solidarity with Western Sahara is sacrosanct

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Thami ka Plaatjie

Politics is a game of expandable interests and shifting alliances based on matters at hand.

But when principle is subjected to this evasive and ever shifting notion of transient interests then politics will rival gangsterism in its callousness. Principle brings sanity, engenders nobility and bestow respectability to politics, otherwise a crude craft of murky waters with lurking four legged sharks and a proliferation of invertebrate beings of sorts.

It was a fervent adherence and affiliation to this principle that saw the overwhelming support of the SouthAfrica struggle by the international community. Even the smallest countries dared the apartheid regime and suffered great setbacks and reprisals in pursuit of the moral principle of justice.

One of the last remaining African country that faces colonial oppression and a brazen hegemony of a defiant state is Western Sahara. Under the leadership of the Polisario Front which was established in 1973, the people of Western Sahara have waged a gallant struggle against the foreign domination and foreign colonial tutelage of Morocco.

In its zeal to repress and in its tireless zest to cajole and coerce to submission the democratic will of the people of Western Sahara, Morocco has gone to maddening lengths and dizzy heights to impose her illegitimate rule thus plunging deep its poisonous fangs against the will of the people of Western Sahara. Morocco has worked like a loyal stakhanovite to pursue this agenda and has opened wide her chest of gold to even buy those countries whose principles are on auction. To most of our surprise and dismal these countries even number some of our friends.

In pursuant of her ill designs Morocco has hosted a rival conference in her capital city ostensibly to steal the thunder , attention and focus away from the SADC Solidarity conference which will be held in Pretoria from the 24th to the 25th of March. To entice a number of countries to attend her nefarious conference and to be complicit to her designs, she has offered to pay for all expenses and for all the imaginable emoluments. Envelope diplomacy is not for the faint stomached.

Some countries have opted to stay neutral neither offending any party nor pleasing any rather embracing fake neutrality in the face of an injustice. Their heads are deep in the sand but their entire physiognomy is exposed. Other countries have been brow-beaten to an extend of lowering their delegation almost looking incognito. Even Malawi, a country that we have just plucked from a cyclone disaster is queueing for the left-overs from the Morocon alms by dishing our conference and jet-setting to that country.

The decision to support Western Sahara has been taken in numerous international forums and bodies to be violated at the alter colonial convenience. The SADC inter-Ministerial of the Organ of Politic, Defense and Security Cooperation resolved in its meeting of the 17th to 21st July 2017 held in Tanzania to convene a solidarity conference for the Western Sahara.

The 37th Summit of SADC Heads of State and Government held in Pretoria from the 19th -20th August ratified the decision. Its was the 37th SADC Head of State and Government conference held in Namibia that endorsed SouthAfrica as the host of the Solidarity Conference.

The SADC position on Western Sahara is in tandem , aligned and and pursuant to the litany of United Nation Resolutions that included but not limited to the following: the UN General Assembly Resolution 1514of 1960, the UN Security Council Resolution 690 of 1991, the
OAU (AHG/Resolution 92(cv) of July 1978. OAU (AHG/Resolution 103. (xviii) of June 1981 and OAU (AHG/Resolution 104(xix)of 1983,

Against all the false prophets and doomsayers the people of Western Sudan will be free and will attain their self determination.

We are pleased by the number of principled countries that have agreed to pledge solidarity with the people of Western Sahara. The flowing countries will send senior representation and they included Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Zimbabwe . SADC member states that include DRC, eSwatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Seychelles and Mauritius. There will also be four non SADC heads of states who will send their presidents and eight who will send their ministers.

Civil society organizations that have confirmed will include COSATU, Human Rights Defender, SADC lawyer’s Association, SADC Council of NGO’s, SADC Parliamentary Forum, Pan African Foundation, African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), National Youth Council of Namibia, Western Sahara Solidarity Forum. Political parties that will include the ANC, SWAPO, ZANU-PF, FRELIMO, MPLA, COSATU and SACP to name a few.

South Africa has a moral and a historical obligation to sustain support for Western Sahara even in the face of thuggish conduct. South Africa knows better how it feels like to suffer under colonial oppression. South Africa must become
the moral compass that must find the path even in the turbulent sea. We cannot flirt and trifle with our loyalty to the oppressed people of Western Sahara.

All props and bells and whistles have been arraigned to receive these delegates and to strengthen our firm solidarity with the people of Western Sahara. We dare not fail them and we dare not equivocate in the face of underhand acts of desperation.