While Thabo Mbeki might be dancing around skittishly and refusing to condemn his comrade Robert Mugabe’s latest violation of democracy in Zimbabwe, ordinary South Africans are speaking out. There is a shipment of Chinese arms and ammunition waiting in Durban harbour, which has been approved by the South African government for transit to land-locked Zimbabwe. There are already rumours of violence by Mugabe’s henchman, and there is every chance that the three million rounds of ammunition and rocket-propelled grenades will be used against ordinary, innocent Zimbabwean citizens whose chance of democratically electing their own government appears to have been wrenched from them.
While the South African government has approved the transit, the dockworkers who belong to the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (SATAWU) have refused to unload the cargo.
The Times quotes SATAWU spokesperson Randall Howard as saying, “We do not believe it will be in the interest of the Zimbabwean people in general if South Africa is seen to be a conduit of arms and ammunition into Zimbabwe at a time when the situation could be described as quite volatile.”
Hooray for the unionists! How wonderful to see ordinary South Africans standing up for ordinary Zimbabweans despite the intransigence of both governments.
Long live the workers, long live!
(For more details, read the whole Times article here.)