Bush Boycott: Africa is not for sale - PAC won't break bread with Bush
PAC won't break bread with Bush
Business Day (South Africa), 3 july 2003
Pan Africanist Congress leader Motsoko Pheko has turned down an invitation by President Thabo Mbeki to an official luncheon on July 9 in honour of United States President George Bush.
Bush is due to arrive in South Africa on July 8 for a two-day official visit.
In a letter to Mbeki, Pheko said the PAC would usually accept a presidential invitation whenever it was extended. Unfortunately, after broad consultation "in our movement", he regretted he could not accept this particular invitation, for a number of reasons.
These included that Bush had undermined the authority of the United Nations Security Council and waged an illegal war in Iraq, and was threatening other countries of the South. He had "falsified information about weapons of mass destruction" and displaced thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children in his unjustified war on that country, Pheko said.
Bush was "meddling" in the internal affairs of other nations, violating their sovereignty and territorial integrity. His utterances on Zimbabwe and claims that "Nepad is dead before it arrives" if African countries do not get involved in that country's internal affairs was unacceptable to the PAC.
Bush had been "in the politics of America for a long time", and had never raised the issues of democracy during the era of apartheid in South Africa, nor during the time of Idi Amin's Uganda, Marco's Philippines or Mobuto's Zaire.
"President Bush is seeking legitimacy for his illegal activities, and one of his agendas is to push the genetically modified food on the African continent. Africa is not for sale," he said.
"What President Bush ought to be doing is to be joining forces which are demanding the cancellation of the 'foreign' debt, which is a big hindrance to the development of Africa.
Pheko said he was appealing, through Mbeki, to Bush, to agree to a general disarmament in which all countries, including the United States, with weapons of mass destruction would destroy these weapons. "It is not right and just for President Bush to demand other countries to dispose of these weapons while his own country has piles of them," he said.
However, the PAC leader said his party had "great respect for the people of America".