Who let the dogs out?

The four mercenaries who attempted to overthrow the oil rich Equatorial Guinea government have now been released, thanks to the President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma. Their financial backer, Mark Thatcher, son of former British Prime Minister (Margaret Thatcher), got away with a suspended sentence in South Africa. The question that begs an answer is why South Africa is treating bloody mercenaries with kid gloves.

There are numerous conflicts on the African continent involving various African governments and the ‘rebel’ movements. By and large, the cause of these ‘rebel’ movements is unknown. What are they fighting for? Who funds them? What is the motive of their funders? Is this perhaps another way the US imperialist policy of regime change is pursued? Is this strategy the same as the US policy in the Middle East of rather preferring endless fights in the region than have independent, sovereign and stable states which can self determine their affairs under conditions of peace without worrying about rebels and insurgents?

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one such country which has been a victim of endless ‘civil’ wars. Each time a rebel leader and movement is annihilated; another leader and movement emerge. There was Laurent Tshisekedi, John-Pierre Bemba and now there is Laurent Nkunda. This has contributed to political instability resulting in economic underdevelopment, social strife, displacement of civilian population, as well as loss of limb and life. Why would anyone go all out to set people who cause so much harm and grief to humanity scot free?

It is remarkably interesting that these ‘rebel’ movements never run short of resources and they go on and on for years. The arrest of Mark Thatcher exposed the source of funding for these rebel movements

In some countries Western powers actually ‘invest’ in rebel held territories, thus they plunder mineral resources in areas which are under the control of rebels. It seems imperialists’ interests thrives where there is no stable state.

Mercenaries deserve to die in prison. There are many people who do not deserve to be in prison. When will Zuma use his ‘generosity’ and ‘humility’ to negotiate the release of Gutanammo prisoners detained indefinitely without trial? When will he, here on the home front, take a decision to release hundreds of former Azanian People’s Liberation Army (APLA), AZANLA and MK freedom fighters who still languish in South Africa’s jails for engaging in armed struggle against the criminal apartheid settler colonial regime?

Who knows which wars these ‘pardoned’ mercenaries have caused on the continent and how many more they plan to cause. We also do not know how many wars Mark Thatcher funded, is funding and intends to fund in future. Do we know who else is funding these wars and for what reasons. It is therefore injudious and downright treacherous to just let mercenaries loose because no cause is good enough to justify their release.

Hulisani Mmbara
Chief Editor