South Sudan was delivered into the world with great excitement on Saturday, 09 June 2011 to become the 54th state on the continent of Africa; but if we take into account Western Sahara the new kid on the block is 55th.
South Sudan saw and attained her freedom after three decades of sweat and blood shed. The triumph of these Sudanese people is the result of skill and the never say die spirit to pursue self-determination.
We mention self-determination because it is an issue elsewhere that was witnessed by the disintegration of the United Soviet Socialist Republics. States such as Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Ukraine and others sought to stand on their own and ponder their future. And they are making strides in their own humble way.
In South Sudan the 30 year political marriage was fought along national and religious lines. Those in the north are Arab and Islamic while those in the south, the new state, are African and Christian. Keeping them together proved to be a recipe for disaster.
One of the worthy sons of the African soil, former President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki, was the main “midwife” in the delivery room of this new born baby. We owe much to this African despite some having tried to downplay is effort to the extent of boasting about clipping is wings so that he could not deliver on the assignment. There is no doubt that Mbeki is wont to live his African dream and has to be supported as much as he has to be commended for a job well done.
Independence should of course not be treated like a Christmas party. Just like a funeral or a wedding, on the day of the occasion there are so many people that those involved hardly have anywhere to sleep of move but soon after the guests have left, the celebration over, the hosts are left to their destitution again.
In independence the nation has to be fed, infrastructure has to be provided, governance has to be in place and above all peace is expected to reign. In South Sudan that is not the case as there are issues to sort out such as borders, their armies are still facing off against each other. The oil-rich province is the main bone of contention.
The call by Baleka Mbete, the national chairperson of the African National Congress, has to be supported. That country needs help and expertise to get it going. If South Africa is to lend a hand, we hope a South Africans of goodwill will be engaged.
It should not be a matter of only those in the majority party who are deployed there. We support Mbete’s call that all those involved in whatever sector of business, be it manufacturing, mining, agriculture and technology should not be shy to establish themselves in that new country.
Let us pray much the strength of Mbeki for his fortitude and the work that still lies ahead such as finding solutions to the serious outstanding issues. We hope the South African government will rise above their myopic and jaundiced judgment by making resources available to him as the success he achieves falls on the government to bask in.
President Jacob Zuma should, as he promised on the occasion of the celebration of the South Sudanese independence, ensure that the infant state will be assisted to stand on its own feet lest the international communities make us a laughing stork.
We cross our fingers and hope this nation will grow to take its rightful place among other nations of the world.
Sent by: Sipho Mfundisi
Deputy Leader: UCDP
Cell: 083 469 3473