African youth leader slams US-led policy 'gun put to South Africa's head'

10:18 03.06.2023 •

Khulekani Skosana, chairperson of the International relations subcommittee of the African Nation Congress Youth League

African leaders have recently pointed to the West putting "extraordinary pressure" on many of the continent's countries to choose sides, pressing them to renounce their position of neutrality on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Now, the situation has taken a new turn, since the South African government was accused of supplying weapons to Russia.

The West and the US in particular should be more careful when they make remarks about South Africa in the future because that may sway the nation "towards a direction that would be very undesirable" for them, said Khulekani Skosana (photo), Chairperson of the International Relations Subcommittee of the African Nation Congress (ANC) Youth League, National Youth Task Team, in an interview with Sputnik Africa.

The youth activist in particular referred to the remarks made by US Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety, who said that Pretoria was allegedly supplying weapons to the Russian army. According to Skosana, this scenario doesn't exist, because why would Russia, "the most powerful country on earth," need weapons from South Africa.

"And we have told them that we don't appreciate the gun that they put to the head of South Africa. And we think that if they believe in the democracy which they preach so much, then they should do so in action by respecting the sovereign state of South Africa and our diplomatic independence," he said.

He underscored that South Africa and the continent in general will continue to oppose any form of oppression and will stick to its own course, which is to ensure African nations' freedom and independence. "They will never kill our yearning for freedom... They will never kill what is in our heart, which is the love for our continent and our culture. You can never tame the African men. You can put us in chains, but we will unchain ourselves," Skosana emphasized.

He pointed out that the West should not underestimate African nations and consider that they are "not ready to fight," saying that "we believe that the revolution is love, and we are willing to give everything we have for our freedom."

Skosana, who was sanctioned by the Kiev regime in October 2022 over his participation in an observer mission to the Donbass region's referendums, shared his viewpoint on the sanctions with Sputnik Africa, noting that for him, they are medals that indicate that he is "standing on the right side of history."

He explained that he is not bothered by the sanctions imposed by "clearly a Nazi regime" that doesn't see Africans as equal partners and thinks they "are subhuman to them." He highlighted that South Africa would have never gained its freedom from the apartheid regime without international support and solidarity, and therefore, "it would be very hypocritical for people in South Africa to stand and watch while there is Nazism looming in Ukraine."

"For more than 300 years, Africans have espoused to unchain themselves from colonialism. So when we smell oppression and colonial mentality and Nazism, we will stand against it, even at the expense of our personnel profiles or names. So they can sanction me all they want because that puts me in the category of greats... For me, those sanctions are badges of honour," Skosana stated.

The youth leader pointed at the need to exercise and maintain international solidarity, noting that South Africa stands in unity with the people of Donbass who are seeking self-determination. Skosana underscored that he in particular, as well as many other African activist and patriots, are ready to receive even more medals as they don't see sanctions as something bad.

"There is a proxy war and the people of Ukraine have chosen to be subjects of the Americans... And this is not about the sovereignty of Ukraine, but it is about the status quo of preserving American hegemony as a superpower in the world," Skosana explained.

Skosana recalled that the United States supported the apartheid regime, noting that any region, where "American Uncle Sam went with weapons," ended up in ruins, pointing to Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He vowed that Africa was not going "to be part of that evil vehicle."

Skosana also shared his vision for the future of Africa, stating that he wants to see an "African renaissance", when the continent no longer depends on its former colonizers and becomes "as prosperous as the mineral resources beneath its soil."

He explained that he would like to see a situation when "there is no Europe that is built out of Africa," but there is Africa that is built out of its own wealth, a self-sufficient continent that doesn't have to export raw material and buy it back as finished goods.

Skosana noted that one of the main factors of implementing this vision in practice lies in the realm of ensuring political stability across the continent. It is of critical importance to silence the guns and stop all the internal conflicts led "at the behest of what would be the former master."

Skosana highlighted that young people, in particular Africans, have responsibility to be politically involved, especially given the fact that they are often used as "instrument of wrong things."


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