Parliament passes motion of condolence in honour of Comandante Fidel Castro

1 December 2016

Today Parliament's National Assembly passed a special motion of condolence in honour of the late former Cuban President El Comandante Fidel Castro. It is the first time in history that Parliament passes a motion of this nature on a world political figure. This represents a significant recognition of the contribution El Comandante Castro and the people of Cuba played in the liberation of the South African and African people against apartheid and imperialism.

The Democratic Alliance, true to its imperialist and neo-colonial nature, opposed this motion and staged a walk out. The opposition of the DA to this motion and its attempted sabotage of the motion through leaving the house was a desperate attempt to deny Parliament and the people of South Africa an opportunity to pay a special homage to a true revolutionary who immensely contributed to the liberation of all South Africans.

During the debate, we witnessed a desperate attempt to cast aspersions and besmirch the memory and legacy of this fearless and courageous leader, whose revolutionary army fought side by side with African liberation fighters in Angola and Namibia. The Cuban people aided South African freedom fighters in exile and continued to support South Africa post liberation. President Castro addressed the South African parliament on 8th September 1998 where he reiterated Cuba's solidarity to South Africa and said, "I think about this country and I think about its history. I see in my mind all kinds of developments, events, facts, data, realities that reflect the enormous responsibility and the colossal historical task implicit in creating the new South Africa that you intend creating. I hope that my presence here will leave, as the sole essential memory, our fervent and sincere wishes to support the enormous efforts that you are making in order to heal the deep wounds that for many centuries have remained open."

The DA, whose foundation is firmly rooted in apartheid and still harbours servants of apartheid, is clearly still embittered by the humiliating defeat the apartheid army suffered at the hands of the Cuban forces at the 1987 battle of Cuito Cuanavale in Angola.

South Africa continues to have great relations with Cuba through various government efforts, the most prominent being the medical training of South African students in Cuba.

As we dip our revolutionary flag in honour of this great revolutionary and a dependable ally of our glorious land, we take lessons from his selfless service to the people of Cuba and the oppressed of this world.

The ANC Caucus in Parliament will be sending a delegation to Cuba as part of a multi-party parliamentary delegation to the comemorial funeral of El Comandante Castro which is scheduled task place this Sunday.

ISSUED BY THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF WHIP

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