ANC to pay homage to AU, OAU

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Independent Newspapers

File photo: Phill Magakoe

Johannesburg - The ANC will pay homage to the African Union (AU) and its predecessor Organisation of African Unity (OAU) during their respective anniversaries, the party said on Tuesday.

African National Congress sub-committee on international relations chairman Obed Bapela said the AU would celebrate its 10th anniversary, and the OAU, its 50th.

The AU replaced the OAU.

“As part of the celebrations of the anniversary of the OAU/AU which was set up to fulfil its mission of uniting the African continent... the ANC will also be hosting seminars, road shows, lectures, and publications on, amongst others, the importance of Africa Day,” Bapela said in a statement.

Africa Day is the annual commemoration on May 25 of the 1963 founding of the OAU.

He said the ANC would distribute the AU anthem to its structures and encourage government departments to distribute it in schools and other public institutions.

“The flag of the AU must be hoisted as a permanent practice for the Republic of South Africa,” Bapela said.

He said the ANC's national executive committee would discuss the OAU and AU between May 17 and 19. Anniversary seminars would also be held at universities across the country.

Bapela said the sub-committee held a meeting on May 5 and discussed comments reportedly made by Zambian Deputy President Guy Scott.

According to a United Kingdom report last week, Scott had likened President Jacob Zuma to last apartheid-era president FW de Klerk.

“He (Zuma) tells us: 'you just leave Zimbabwe to me'. Excuse me, who the hell liberated you anyway, was it not us? I mean, I quite like him, he seems a rather genial character, but I pity him (and) his advisers.”

Scott went on to speak about South Africans, and black citizens.

“The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development... I hate South Africans... they really think they're the bees' knees and actually they've been the cause of so much trouble in this part of the world,” he was quoted as saying.

“I have a suspicion the blacks model themselves on the whites now that they're in power.”

Bapela said the Zambian government had apologised.

“The ANC values these historical friendships with peoples of Africa, and thus we welcome the apology by the government and people of Zambia on the unfortunate utterances made by the Zambian deputy president about South Africa and her people,” he said. - Sapa


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