Joint Statement On Situation In South Africa

July 1, 2021

[Joint statement concerning the current situation in South Africa that is being sent to the Embassy of South Africa in Washington D.C]

We, the undersigned, who on June 26, 2021 observed the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in Bermuda, offer the people of South Africa our best wishes and general support, given the June 29, 2021 ruling by that country’s Constitutional Court.

The Acting Chief Justice of South Africa’s highest court, has found it necessary to sentence the former President of South Africa – Jacob Zuma – to 15 months imprisonment.

The former President had been the subject of two comprehensive investigations by South Africa’s Public Defender/Ombudsman – Thuli Madonsela.

In the second of these –‘State Capture’ – she had recommended that a Commission of Inquiry follow up and further investigate her preliminary findings of corruption by President Zuma, his son and others. However, the former President refused to cooperate with that process. When required to attend the Constitutional Court to explain his actions, Zuma also refused to appear in court when summonsed to do so.

Acting Chief Justice Sisi Khampepe was damning in her ruling regarding the Former President’s reaction to the due process of the Courts; pointing out that Zuma’s statements and behaviour: “….constituted a calculated effort to impugn the integrity of the judiciary. I am left with no option but to commit Mr Zuma to imprisonment, with the hope that it sends an unequivocal message… the rule of law and administration of justice prevails.”

This ruling resonates with the spirit of the Global Movement that -after much struggle and loss – ended the brutal system of Apartheid. It is also in concert with the expressed commitment and the restorative practices recently adopted by the current President of South Africa, Cyril Ramophosa.

Mr Ramaphosa visited Bermuda in April 1990, as a member of the South African Liberation Movement Team which quietly negotiated with the Apartheid Government Team at the former Lantana Hotel in Somerset. At the time he was serving as the President of the National Union of Mineworkers and General Secretary of the Coalition of South African Trade Unions.

Through the local movement’s contacts with the British Anti-Apartheid Movement, Mr Ramaphosa made time to quietly meet with a delegation of the local movement at the BIU HQ.

While we are somewhat saddened by this news, we are encouraged by this ‘stand’ being taken on the part of those promoting the stewardship of the future for the ‘New’ South Africa.

The following individuals signing on their own behalf; all of whom were either active in the local movement or currently have roles in organizations that supported the local or global movement.

  • W. Alex Scott [Former Premier]
  • Cheryl Pooley-Alves [former Special Assistant to the Opposition Leader]
  • Arlene Brock [former Ombudsman]
  • Kevin Grant [General Secretary of BPSU]
  • Rev Dr Larry Dixon [Presiding Elder of AME Churches]
  • Glenn Fubler [former BUT President, former coordinator of Coalition]
  • Ellen-Kate Horton [former President of BUT & former P.S. of Education]
  • Lynn Millett [former BIU Chief Shop Steward]
  • Canon Thomas Nisbett [Anglican, former Hon Chairman of Anti-Apartheid Coalition]
  • Philip Perinchief [former Attorney General]
  • Donald Scott [former Cabinet Secretary, former Finance Secretary]
  • Rev David Steele [Pastor Wesley Methodist Church]
  • Calvin Shabazz [Noted Sensei in Martial Arts Community]
  • Alvin Williams [former BIU Shop Steward & Writer for ‘Workers’ Voice’ & other outlets]

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