THE EFF COMMEMORATES THE LIFE OF SAMORA MOISÉS MACHEL
19 October 2016
The EFF today celebrates the revolutionary life of one of South Africa’s long-standing and fiercest defenders and allies of our struggle against Apartheid, Samora Moises Machel who died on this day, 19th October 1986 in Mbuzini Mpumalanga. He died still in the line of duty defending the independence of black Southern Africans from the draconian grip of colonialism and the Apartheid system.
Machel died in a controversial plane crash in Mbuzini (Mpumalanga) on his way from a Front Line States meeting at which the then puppet of South African government, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, an ardent sponsor of reactionary Renamo was to be condemned. Machel was one of the founders of the Front Line States which, through the Arusha Declaration which supported the formation of the South African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), sought to establish a geographical, political and economic block that would counter the oppressive regimes of Apartheid South Africa and Ian Smith’s Rhodesia and foster unity in the region. In the investigations that followed his death, Soviet aviation experts had made a finding that Machel’s plane had been deliberately lured off course towards a dangerous hilly area in Mbuzini by the South African government.
This theory became widely feasible because Samora Machel had given his life’s struggles defending the independence of his countrymen in Mozambique, but also fought fiercely for the liberation of both South Africans, Zimbabweans and Southern Africans in general. He openly provided refuge for both Mkhonto we Sizwe and APLA operatives in his country and embraced the leadership of Oliver Reginald Tambo and gave asylum to Robert Mugabe.
In his tenure, he actively moved to thwart rebel counter-revolutionary Renamo in Mozambique which, together with Mobutu Sese Seko sponsored UNITA in Angola, were openly supported by the South African government to destabilise progressive forces in those countries. Apartheid South Africa understood very well the threat of the unity in SADCC and moved to undermine it through these reactionary rebel forces.
He funded the Zimbabwean People’s Army (ZIPA) and later supported the Zimbabwean African National Liberation Army (ZANLA) in their fight against Ian Smith. This he did with the strategy of eliminating Ian Smith’s power which, in collusion with the Apartheid regime, was a formidable enemy of the liberation struggle. The South African Government was forced to negotiate with him in the Nkomati Accord precisely because he was a threat to their regime, even though they never stuck to their end of the agreement.
Samora Machel was also instrumental in negotiating the liberation of Zimbabwe at Lancaster House, London, where a conference was held to negotiate the exit of English rule in Zimbabwe. He sent his most trusted negotiators to advise Zimbabweans in the negotiations. He represented a new mindset in Southern African politics in which total unity was an absolute necessity for the collective emancipation of Africans.
The EFF celebrates this icon of the African liberation struggle because he was also an ardent Marxist-Leninist, an ideology that defines the EFF. In 1970, his presidency in the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo) saw the liberation movement convert from a broad-church to Socialism on its finding that it was the best humane political ideology to advance our struggle as Africans towards an egalitarian society. Frelimo then as the ruling party in the newly liberated Mozambique in 1975 effected the following political changes:
- All Land was expropriated without compensation for redistribution
- The Health sector was nationalised and private health facilities abolished
- Education was nationalised and private education institutions were abolished
This allowed for an even redistribution of the economy and basic rights like health and education which were not afforded to ordinary Mozambicans before. The literacy rate rose from 15% to an estimated 67% and kept growing until internal turmoil subsequently ravaged the country largely owing to Renamo attacks on health and education facilities.
But as Mozambique is now rebuilding, it does so from a firm ground of an education policy that recognises the normalisation of the education battlefield. Samora Machel understood the basic principle that in a post-colonial Africa, growth and development cannot be left in the hands of the private sector and land, which is a primary prerequisite to the attainment of the means of production, cannot be left in colonial control.
Such is the inspiration of our young movement, the EFF, as we look to change the landscape of economic transformation in our country. Our founding documents speak to the building of an EFF cadre who walks in the footsteps of great revolutionary giants such as Samora Moisés Machel, Ernesto Ché Guevara, Thomas Isidore Noël Sankara, Amílcar Lopes da Costa Cabral and many other selfless liberation struggle heroes who fought both in the robust ideological space and in the trenches with fearlessness and decisiveness.
We aspire for an egalitarian society that Samora Machel envisaged in which strong African economies are built on a solid foundation of a people who are equal in all spheres of their existence including in education and health
The EFF will continue to walk in the footsteps of Samora Machel in seeking solid corrupt-free economic foundations for the whole of Africa from which the continent can independently begin to industrialise and self-sustain. We salute him for the selfless fight he fought for neighbouring countries, thus seeking collective and holistic freedom. His efforts have not gone unnoticed.
Que sua alma descanse em paz. Aluta continua
Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 19 October 2016