Bush not too popular in S. Africa
John M Cox
coxj at email.unc.edu
Thu Jul 10 04:19:46 MDT 2003
US President Maligned in Anti-US Protest Marches
South African Press Association (Johannesburg)
July 9, 2003
Posted to the web July 10, 2003
United States President George W Bush was maligned for nearly four hours
on end in Pretoria on Wednesday by groups of anti-American protesters.
In Cape Town, about 1,500 people braved a blustery winter's day to voice
their opposition to his visit to South Africa.
Some 200 supporters of the African National Congress and its tri-partite
alliance partners were among those expressing disquiet at US policies.
In a memorandum presented to US embassy staff in Pretoria, they accused
Bush's government of "flagrant disregard for the basic principles of
Slating the US policies towards Cuba, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan, it
said: "We call on the US to respect the right of all nations to determine
their own future, free from any external military, economic or other
According to SA Communist Party secretary-general Blade Nzimande, US
policies under Bush were creating an unstable and dangerous situation in
the world, "such as we haven't seen since World War II".
Earlier in the day, more than 1,000 supporters of the Anti-War Coalition
marched on the embassy to express their disgust with the American
Hippies, men and women in traditional Muslim dress, militant toyi-toying
youngsters and even some Americans joined forces.
"Go away, we've got enough Bushes in Africa," read one placard, while
another said: "Stop Bush", with the "s" written in the form of a swastika
and a Hitler moustache drawn on his face. A banner proclaimed: "A village
in Texas is missing its idiot."
In its memorandum, the group objected to Bush being welcomed by the South
African government. The visit was aimed at making South Africa the US's
"policeman" in Africa in the "war against terror", the document said.
It also accused Bush of coming to South Africa with "big juicy carrots"
to get American hands on Africa's oil.
The group said Bush should be arrested and brought before an
international tribunal for crimes against humanity.
In the first march of the day, about 100 supporters of the Zimbabwean
opposition Movement for Democratic Change urged Bush to intervene in
their country's crisis.
MDC shadow foreign minister Moses Mzila-Ndlovu called on Bush and
President Thabo Mbeki to commit themselves to resolving the crisis.
"We need them to come up with a time-frame for elections in Zimbabwe."
In Cape Town, protesters fed a bonfire close to the entrance of
Parliament with posters featuring Bush's photograph.
Some wore black clothes with an effigy of Bush looking like an alien.
Environmentalists and purda-covered Muslim women also participated.
Islamic Unity Convention spokesman imam Achmat Cassiem railed against the
twin evils of imperialism and capitalism as embodied by America and to a
lesser extent South Africa.
"It is the duty of African people to remove the present South African
government. The ballot box is not the monopoly of the ANC, and the
anti-apartheid struggle is not the monopoly of the ANC."
Cassiem referred to "former comrade Mbeki" and the "capitulation" of the
government for agreeing to meet with Bush.
A Pan Africanist Congress youth spokesman said Bush should be condemned
to Robben Island.
But Cassiem retorted: "We don't put pigs on Robben Island."
At the US Consulate, PAC provincial secretary Nkosinathi Mahala expressed
concern that the "revolutionary" government was embracing an
"imperialist" like Bush -- who he said was killing people in Afghanistan
and other countries.
"We are angry at President Mbeki for encouraging a terrorist such as
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