African National Congress president Jacob Zuma has vowed to create monuments for the fallen Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) soldiers who died in the Cuito Cuanavale battle in Angola, he said on Monday. Zuma said it was agreed that a committee would be established to identify the graves of "our fallen MK heroes and heroines".
African National Congress president Jacob Zuma has vowed to create monuments for the fallen Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) soldiers who died in the Cuito Cuanavale battle in Angola, he said on Monday.
Addressing the media in Johannesburg, Zuma said it was agreed at the meeting in Angola during the 20th commemoration of the Cuito Cuanavale battle that a committee would be established to identify the graves of “our fallen MK heroes and heroines”.
“A committee will be established that will identify the graves of our fallen MK soldiers. This will give way to monuments and possible repatriation of our human remains,” said Zuma.
He said there had to be existing evidence that there were South Africans buried there.
Zuma said the aim of the visit to Angola was also to forge and strengthen business relations between the two countries.
“This is also an effort to solidify our regional approach to politics, socio-economic development and the security of the region.”
In addition, he said the Cuito Cuanavale battle in the 1980s marked the beginning of the demise of the apartheid regime.
He said a monument would be set up in Angola so that tourists would be told the story about Cuito Cuanavale battle.
Meanwhile, Business Day reported on Tuesday that Zuma’s visit to Angola has ventured into President Thabo Mbeki’s terrain. According to the paper, Zuma announced that his four-day visit not only yielded a high-level meeting with Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, but also laid the groundwork for future foreign relations and trade agreements between the two countries.
“Zuma’s overtures signal a departure from Mbeki’s approach, which was characterised by frosty relations between Pretoria and Luanda,” the paper reported.—Sapa