Mugabe lambasts West

2015-04-08 19:09
Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe in Pretoria for a state visit.(AP Photo)

Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe in Pretoria for a state visit.(AP Photo)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday launched a wide-ranging attack on Western colonisation in Africa and recent intervention in the Arab world, as he made his first state visit to South Africa in 21 years.

The veteran leader, 91, seized the opportunity of a televised press conference with President Jacob Zuma in Pretoria to lambaste the United Nations Security Council, the United States and former colonial power Britain.

"We want a political environment in which we are not interfered with by outsiders and we become masters of ourselves in Africa," Mugabe told reporters.

"We don't think we are getting a fair deal at the United Nations.

"The five countries there who are permanent members... control the entire system."

Mugabe said the developing world should stand together against the US, France and Britain, who make up three of five permanent members of the UN security council.

"They disturb the Arab world and leave [it] torn apart. Look at what they did to Libya," he said, adding that US-led wars in Iraq revealed the "messy, reckless, brutal approach of the West".

Mugabe, who is often accused of human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, said his state visit to Pretoria represented Africa's victory over colonialists.

"Now we are our own people, and we have President Zuma here and President Mugabe in Zimbabwe - that is what what you fought for," he said.

"African resources belong to Africa. Others may come to assist as our friends and allies but no longer as colonisers or oppressors, no longer as racists."

Seeking investment

Mugabe provoked laughter from some officials when he spoke about a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes in Cape Town that has been vandalised in recent student protests.

Rhodes is buried in Zimbabwe, which was called Rhodesia until independence in 1980 when Mugabe came to power.

"We are looking after the corpse. You have the statue of him," Mugabe said. "I don't know what you think we should do - dig him up? Perhaps his spirit might rise again."

Mugabe, who was accompanied by his wife Grace, hopes his visit to South Africa will drum up foreign investment to revive his nation's moribund economy.

Zimbabwe has been on a downturn for more than a decade due to low growth and high unemployment.

Zimbabwe's economy entered a tailspin after the launch of controversial land reforms 14 years ago. By 2008, inflation had officially peaked at 231 million percent before the government stopped counting.

Zuma said a series of agreements signed on Wednesday would help both nations.

"The economies of the two countries are historically and inextricably linked," he said. "Opportunities for deeper economic cooperation exist."

Mugabe, who is the current chairman of the African Union, has visited South Africa in the past on working trips but has made no state visit since 1994.

His wife Grace is seen as one possible successor to her husband.

Former vice-president Joice Mujuru was long considered likely to take over, but she fell out with the veteran leader late last year and was sacked in December.

Mugabe will attend a bilateral business forum in Pretoria on Thursday.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.