Today marks the 30th Anniversary since the battle of Cuito Cuanavale. The African National Congress joins the international community in observing this historic encounter since the battle of Cuito Cuanavale in 1988.
The battle of Cuito Cuanvale was pursued against the apartheid regime leading to the ultimate defeat of the apartheid forces through amongst others Cubans deployment of over 300, 000 troops alongside the Angolan army.
The momentous victory on the battle of Cuito Cuanavale against the then South African Defence Force marked a turning point in the struggle for liberation and it forced the apartheid regime to sign the peace accords in 1988 in Angola, Cuba, South Africa and the United States.
While still in prison on Robben Island, Cde Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela recalled: "Cuito Cuanavale marks the turn in the struggle to liberate the continent and our country from apartheid; the defeat of the racist army in Cuito Cuanavale allowed the people of Namibia to finally reach their liberation; the defeat of apartheid served as inspiration for the fighting people of South Africa." The victory of Angolan and Cuban troops in that war indeed marked a turning point in the war against the Angolan people, laying the basis for the independence of Namibia and contributing to the eventual commencement of negotiations in South Africa.
The progressive forces of South Africa share a long history and heritage with Cuba which occupies a prominent place as an ally in our struggle for liberation within the African Continent.
The ANC extend best wishes to the people of Angola, Cuba, Namibia and South Africa on this occasion of the 30th anniversary. The ANC salutes cadres of MK who sacrificed for the Independence of Namibia.
Our glorious people's army, MK had to withdraw from Angola for the freedom and independence of the Namibian people.
We thank all progressive and peace loving people throughout the World for supporting the liberation struggle in its entirety.
Issued by the African National Congress