Memorandum over SA troops in Central African Republic

 

5.4.2013

 

To the Presidency

Republic of South Africa

 

Re: Memorandum over SA troops in CAR

 

At Marikana on the 16th August 2012 and in the subsequent mineworkers strikes, we saw the police force being used as a free protection service for Anglo American, BEE and other mining capitalists. Now, in the Central African Republic, you have sent the SA army to act in Central African Republic, CAR, as a free protection service for the assets of North American and BEE capitalists. Further, you were acting as a protection service for coup leader, Bozize, who came to power in the 2003 coup.

 

What makes matters worse is that the SA Housing budget was underspent by about R1 bn, which is approximately the same amount you had allocated to the CAR venture. Thus you choose to keep the masses homeless and in shacks while using housing money for protecting the rich. It is disconcerting that Thuli Zuma (related to AU head and yourselves; who is also linked to Sasol) and Ramaphosa (through Shanduka) have assets in CAR.

 

The CAR is one of the poorest countries in the world not because it does not have resources (it is mineral rich). The CAR is poor because of the high rate of plunder by imperialism. This plunder and suppression of the poor masses in CAR, is what the SA troops have been deployed to sustain. We condemn and oppose this.

 

It is on record that while the SA troops were under attack, the nearby French troops sat with folded arms. Thus the French imperialists gave tacit support to the coup.

 

The US embassy withdrew from Bangui in December 2012 when the Seleca rebels had advanced to within a few km from the capital, how can you say that you never expected an attack? In the light of this:

 

We demand to know why there was a deliberate neglect of the troops:

 

We believe the CAR deployment sets a dangerous precedent that SA troops will again be used to defend the plunderers of Africa, imperialism and BEE/Chinese front companies.

We are concerned that the soldier unions have been under attack and victimised by the govt. This is shown through the de-registration of Sasfu and the failure to reinstate the 1000 soldiers suspended since 2009, whose only crime was to attempt to march, unarmed to the Union buildings to raise their concerns over the commanders of the military. The flawed attempt to smash the unions is also seen in the setting up of the Military Tribunal, cynically headed by the same general Matanzima who had suspended the 1000 soldiers.

 

The deployment of troops to CAR and the attempt to crush the soldier unions appear to be coming from the US imperialist advisors that are guiding policy of the govt. This has to end.

 

Our demands are the following:

·         SA and French troops out of CAR now!

·         for mineworker and poor peasant committees in the CAR to form the basis of a workers’ government

·         For a Constituent Assembly of 1 delegate per 500 people, with no participation of any coup linked leader or backer, past and present, based on nationalisation of the land and the minerals without compensation to the capitalists, under workers control

·         for the expropriation of all imperialist and capitalist assets in the CAR, without compensation to the capitalists, and to be placed under workers’ control

·         for the immediate reinstatement of the 1000 soldiers

·         Defend the soldier unions

·         for the withdrawal of SA troops from all other countries

·         for the expulsion of US and French troops from Africa

·         No confidence in the heads of the military and the Commander in Chief of the Defence force. Justice for the fallen troops sacrificed by the SA govt for imperialism.

·         For a federation of Socialist workers’ states of  Africa based on workers and poor peasant committees

sincerely

 

Shaheed Mahomed

Workers International Vanguard Party,  1st Floor, Community House 41 Salt River rd

Salt River 7925 Ph 021 4476777, Ph 0822020617, Email: workersinternational@gmail.com

Website: www.workersinternational.org.za    And Supporting organizations

 

Anti-War Coalition

Newfields Village AEC

Gugulethu AEC

Zilleraine Heights Residents committee

 

In addition:

 

Constitutional democracy or military dictatorship?

 

There are few Consitutional gains but the few that there are should be defended tooth and nail. The state’s handling of the entire CAR matter shows more of a tendency of military dictatorship of the days of apartheid rather than that of a Constitutional democracy:

  1. The President is supposed to brief the Defence Portfolio Committee on the CAR matter, yet a Cabinet Minister is assigned;
  2. There is supposed to be civilian oversight of the military, yet the Secretary of Defence has been absent while Generals are making statements on military ventures, much like in the apartheid days;
  3. The courts have ordered that the 1000 soldiers who were suspended in 2009, return to work, yet the heads of the military are blocking this, up until today. The entire handling of the CAR venture to protect US assets, shows that the soldiers were vindicated in their criticisms of the heads of the army;
  4. The focus on military protection of US assets raises the question: who is really in control of the army? Parliament or the US military?