USA has mil­i­tary base in Eswa­tini - NUMSA

Sunday Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

BY FOR­TUNE NDLANGAMANDLA

Na t i onal Union of Me­tal­work­ers of South Africa (NUMSA) Sec­re­tary Gen­eral (SG) Irvin Jim has made star­tling al­le­ga­tions that the coun­try has the United States of Amer­ica (USA) mil­i­tary base.

Jim was ad­dress­ing NUMSA’s mem­bers on Fri­day dur­ing a march in Jo­han­nes­burg. The union­ists marched to call on the South African gov­ern­ment to save state-owned en­ter­prise (SOE), Denel.

“Clearly com­rades there is an agenda to de­stroy the state, clearly com­rades there is an agenda to turn our armed forces into an army of gum­boots.

If you de­stroy Denel you put our coun­try at risk, if you de­stroy Denel you make our coun­try’s forces to be use­less not to be in a po­si­tion to de­fend our peo­ple. To de­stroy Denel it is to sell-out our coun­try to im­pe­rial forces.

This march is to say away to im­pe­ri­al­ism away,” Jim ex­plained.

He con­tin­ued to say; “The United States of Amer­ica got a base in Botswana, it got a base in Swazi­land (now known as Eswa­tini) and it got a base all-over this con­ti­nent. For strange rea­sons, for the past 12 years Denel has not been cap­i­talised.”

Gov­ern­ment Press Sec­re­tary Percy Sime­lane has come out to state that the Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of the Na­tional Union of Me­tal­work­ers of South Africa (NUMSA) Irvin Jim was a pris­oner of low cost pol­i­tics.

He said this when asked to ex­plain what may have led to NUMSA’s Jim to think that the United States of Amer­ica has a mil­i­tary base.

Sime­lane re­sponded by stat­ing that; “Jim was a pris­oner of low cost pol­i­tics and can never be ashamed if ly­ing to any­one in sight even to him­self.”

He re­futed the al­le­ga­tions, stat­ing that the coun­try was not aware of any Amer­i­can army base in the coun­try.

“We have no rea­sons to think there is any. If there was, most peo­ple, in­clud­ing the me­dia, would know its geo­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion and per­haps see per­son­nel at­tached to it. I doubt there would be any rea­son to hide it,” Sime­lane ex­plained.

Sime­lane went on to add that the USA has army bases in many coun­tries around the world and they are not hid­den. He said re­cently, re­ports in­di­cated that they have 100 bases in Ja­pan alone.

On the other hand, when drawn to dis­cuss the al­le­ga­tions, US Em­bassy Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fi­cer Joia Starks could not be reached as her phone was not avail­able last night.

Also ef­forts to get as­sis­tance from Than­diswa Ginindza were also fu­tile as she said she was not the Em­bassy’s mouth­piece and re­quested that a ques­tion­naire should be sent so she can for­ward it to rel­e­vant stake­hold­ers.

How­ever, she made it clear that the Em­bassy can be in a po­si­tion to give re­sponses on Tues­day.

Na­tional Union of Me­tal­work­ers Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Irvin Jim. of South Africa

HERE TO STAY: This sign has been here for some­time now along Mba­bane/ Sandla road with the old tele­phone num­bers. One won­ders if it is still rel­e­vant.

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