ANC premier showers praise on North Korean leader, slams ‘imperialists’
LIMPOPO may be half a world away from North Korea, but reelected ANC provincial chairman and premier Cassel Mathale turned out to be a fan of the late autocrat Kim Jong-il, who died this week of heart failure at the age of 69.
“As we join the North Koreans in their grief, we must be motivated by their capacity and tenacity to resist Western domination. May the soul of Chairman Kim Jong-il rest in peace,” Mathale told delegates at the end of the ANC Limpopo conference this week.
“Under his leadership the people of North Korea continued to demonstrate a great amount of remarkable resilience motivated by their history of struggle and suffering”, said Mathale, slamming “imperialist forces” that sought to exploit the death “to infiltrate North Korea and its market”.
“It is regrettable, but not surprising that the Western states are continuing to employ their expansionist policies even at a time when the Koreans of the North are mourning. We must be proud of the fact that in our African culture we are required and expected to respect people who are mourning regardless of relations or interests,” Mathale said.
Naming China and North Korea as among the few countries which assisted in the training of Umkhonto we Sizwe, he said “North Korea was there when many nations that claimed to be champions of freedom and democracy were denying our people the right to self determination”.
Zimbabwe’s ruling Zanu-pf party also mourned Kim JongIl’s death, while Zapu and the two Movement for Democratic Change groups welcomed the news.
Zanu-pf administrative secretary Didymus Mutasa said the party remained “grateful” the dead leader helped train Zimbabwe’s elite Fifth Brigade and there was nothing to be ashamed of by this association. The Fifth Brigade, on Mugabe’s orders, killed thousands of opposition Zapu supporters. – Additional reporting Peta Thornycroft, Independent Foreign Service