Maritzburg Sun (South Africa)

‘We helped you in your struggle, now it’s your turn to help us’

- Pastor John Van Niekerk

Russia has reminded South Africa about its investment during the Apartheid regime - proof that generosity does not come without a future return date, with interest.

The Russian government seemingly came to the aid of South African citizens in their plight to dismantle the Apartheid government. We have documented instances where Russia provided: educationa­l support; military training; trained nurses; military equipment, including a donation of $30 000 to the South African Communist Party (SACP) for the care of detainees and their families, following the wake of the Sharpevill­e incident; and $162 445 in 1961 and 1962 to support the African National Congress (ANC) with legal fees for members on trial.

However, it should be mentioned that the generosity received from Russia was not entirely philanthro­pic, as they assisted both sides of the struggle. In 1985, former president

P.W Botha attempted to purchase 160 Soviet-built missiles and 20 missile launchers via East Germany.

Given the fact that Russia played both sides of the field, South Africa still assisted them during the 1986 Chernobyl Disaster by sending medical support.

The help received in the past should not shackle us for eternity to a country whose cause is unjust, unfounded, and unrighteou­s. The need of the past is no cause for dictating future alliances.

This is a call for righteousn­ess to arise and a need for discernmen­t when receiving future aid, to avoid perpetual blackmail.

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