7th August 2016
Hon Thabo Mbeki
Republic of South Africa
Dear Hon Thabo Mbeki,
Re: Gukurahundi Genocide: Matebeleland’s Truth and Justice Campaign
This letter serves to appeal to you Hon Thabo Mbeki to use your status, your office and influence as the former freedom fighter, a luminary of the struggle against apartheid injustices and human rights violations and a former President of the Republic of South Africa to help us highlight the Gukurahundi Genocide.
Your Excellency we therefore kindly invite you to join us in the Free Matebeleland campaign for Truth and Justice for Gukurahundi Genocide committed against Matebeleland people by the state of Zimbabwe under the leadership of President Robert Gabriel Mugabe as we stage our Loyiko theatre play on the 28th of August 2016 in Joseph Stone Theatre Athlone Cape Town.
As we seek your much needed support in this issue, we are reminded of the key moments in our struggle as South Africans when you illustriously campaigned against injustice and human rights violations by the apartheid regime in this country, where in April 1964 you gave a powerful speech before the United Nations Special Committee against apartheid to plead for the life of our revolutionaries that included your great and heroic father, the late Govan Mbeki when he and others including Nelson Mandela were facing death penalties in the Rivonia Treason Trial.
In that important and powerful speech your Excellency you stated that, “We shall learn to hate evil even more and in the same intensity we shall seek to destroy it. We shall learn to be brave and unconscious of anything but the noblest of struggles”.
Your Excellency your above statements were a principled stand against injustice. They epitomize a noble struggle that you played at the UN International forum in front of the audiences of the world in order to dismantle apartheid and its evil vices and afford us the freedoms we enjoy as South Africans today. It was an epoch-making and great intervention by your good self in defence of the right to life of the luminaries of our struggle against apartheid. We are forever grateful for that momentous intervention and your demonstration of solid and exemplary leadership in trying and testing times. Such is an act of revolutionaries.
Your Excellency we are also reminded of your great African Renaissance Speech you gave during your term in Office as South Africa’s President where you pointed out that, “As South Africans, we owe our emancipation from apartheid in no small measure to the support and solidarity extended to us by all the peoples of Africa”.
Your Excellency in the same African Renaissance Speech you further went on to remind us that, “Many African peoples throughout Southern Africa sacrificed their lives to help us secure our freedom”
Your Excellency, the above statements were and remain a correct and apt appraisal of the support we got from our brothers and sisters across the African continent particularly the people of Matebeleland in Southern Africa who sheltered, fed and watered us as we made military inroads and incursions to this country as uMkhonto We Sizwe together with the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army (ZIPRA) under the great leadership of Joshua Mqabuko Nyongolo Nkomo.
It is our contention, Your Excellency, as Siphesakhe Youth Organization that we “owe our emancipation from apartheid in no small measure” from the people of Matebeleland. It is therefore a truism that with the support of our kith and kin across the Limpopo, we triumphed over injustice and evil and won our freedom we cherish today. It is our position, Your Excellency, that we must return the favour and be our brother’s keeper and be seen to be our brother’s keeper.
Your Excellency, it is however troubling to note that while the people of Matebeleland fought hard for their own freedom and independence against Rhodesians leading to the dismantling of that racialist oppressive system in that country in 1980, they have never been free or enjoyed the freedoms they fought for under a black government of Robert Gabriel Mugabe.
It is a matter of public record your Excellency that as uMkhonto We Sizwe and ZIPRA were taking the battle to the doorstep of our racialist adversaries across Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe’s Party and its military wing ZANLA were busy planning a post-independence ethnic Genocide against the people of Matebeleland in order to create a tribal majoritarian state in Zimbabwe.
Your Excellency we point you to the publicly known and widely circulated 1979 Grand Plan document attached to this letter for your perusal as we appeal for your support in this grave matter that can easily set the whole of Southern Africa on fire if continued to be ignored or swept under the carpet.
Your Excellency, there is evidence that the world looked aside while this Genocide was being committed. A British High Commissioner to Zimbabwe in 1983 to 1985, Sir Martin Evans reveals in one of the Panorama programmes on Gukurahundi Genocide, that the British government ignored this Genocide in order to protect its interests in Zimbabwe.
Your Excellency, as young South Africans we have come to learn and appreciate that some of the reasons why the Genocide took place was to prevent UMkhonto Wesizwe from establishing strong bases in Matebeleland in order to weaken its ability to take the fight to the doorsteps of our apartheid adversaries in this country. As a former UMkhonto Wesizwe cadre you will know better than us.
Your Excellency, there is emerging strong evidence pointing to the fact that the Zimbabwean government colluded with Apartheid South Africa to stop or delay our march to freedom by preventing the strength and capacity of uMkhonto We Sizwe to fight the Apartheid regime from Matebeleland bases. Some Rhodesian intelligence spies have made these crucial revelations in their book memoirs as well as confirm the critical role they played in the execution of Gukurahundi Genocide in Matebeleland and the killing of many uMkhonto We Sizwe freedom fighters in their bases in Matebeleland and other areas of Zimbabwe.
Your Excellency, ever since the Gukurahundi Genocide was unleashed in Matabeleland the world has kept quiet and the perpetrators of the Genocide are still in power and continuing with the Genocide in different forms, shapes and guises. Matebeleland is not free today 36 years after Zimbabwe got its independence. This tragic status quo can no longer continue.
Your Excellency, it has finally left us with no choice but to do something about this matter as young South Africans to help expose the Truth about this Genocide and support efforts by survivors to get justice, healing and reparations for this Genocide as well as restore their dignity as a people.
Your Excellency as a gesture to Matebeleland and in an effort to compliment the efforts to get to the Truth and achieve Justice and Healing for the people of Matebeleland, we have come up with a theatre play called uLoyiko. ULoyiko seeks to expose the Truth about the horrors of the Gukurahundi Genocide to South Africans, Africans and the entire world.
We believe that we owe the people of Matebeleland our support for them to be able to triumph over the injustices and human rights violations they have and continue to receive from President Mugabe’s government.
This play has been produced by Siphesakhe Youth Organization (SYO). SYO was established by Xhosa theatre activists in May 2011. SYO is based in Cape Town, South Africa. The play was launched on 25th June 2016 at Hillbrow Theatre, Johannesburg.
The launch was attended by prominent Matebeleland figures who were directly affected by Gukurahundi such as Dr Dumiso Dabengwa , the Former ZIPRA Intelligence Supremo and a former Home Affairs Minister in Zimbabwe, Moses Mzila, a former ZIPRA platoon commander and a former Minister of National Healing and Reconciliation in Zimbabwe, Dr Mpiyezwe Churchill Guduza ,( an ex-ZIPRA cadre) who has written extensively on Gukurahundi Genocide and published his work titled: Mthwakazi Action Group on Genocide in Matebeleland and Midlands (MAGGEMM) Project, Princess Mgetshani Mabhena, representative of the Ndebele Royal Family (South Africa) and a representative of the Khumalo Royal family of uMthwakazi based here in South Africa, Chief Gumede.
Your Excellency, we take this opportunity to invite you once more to our show on the 28th of August 2016 in Joseph Stone Theatre Athlone Cape Town. We will be greatly honoured with your attendance and presence.
Siphesakhe Youth Organization (Loyiko)