ANC Media Release, 19 March 2008

ANC commemorates battle of Cuito Cuanavale

The African National Congress joins the world as it marks the anniversary of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

We extend our best wishes to the people of Angola, Cuba, Namibia and South Africa on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of one of the most important episodes of both the civil war in Angola (1975-2002) and the South African Border War. The armies of Cuba, Angola and South Africa met at Cuito Cuanavale in 1987 for this battle that has been called 'Africa's largest land battle since World War 2.'

The victory of Angolan and Cuban troops in that war marked a turning point in the war of aggression against the Angolan people, laying the basis for the independence of Namibia and contributing to the eventual commencement of negotiations in South Africa.

As part of our commemoration of this important historical event, the ANC has sent a delegation to Angola led by President Jacob Zuma. Other members of the delegation include ANC deputy Secretary General Thandi Modise, NEC members Ebrahim Ebrahim, Collins Chabane, Billy Masetlha, Ayanda Dlodlo and Angie Motshekga.

A Parliamentary delegation will depart from Pretoria on Friday in a convoy to Cuito Cuanavale to commemorate the battle.

The delegation includes military veterans from both sides, representatives from government, scholars and civil society.

At its meeting held this past weekend, the ANC National Executive Committee paid tribute to the many thousands of Angolans, Cubans, Namibians and South Africans for their sacrifices in the fight against the forces of apartheid and imperialism in the protracted Angolan war.

The ANC also wishes to pay tribute to the Russian people for their support in this war.

South Africa is a liberated nation today due to the contribution of those who sacrificed their lives in the battle of Cuito Cuanavale.

Issued by African National Congress

For more information contact: Jessie Duarte on 079 506 6756


324 words