SCORES of South African ruling party members, the Africa National Congress (ANC) yesterday demonstrated at the American Embassy in Pretoria against the baneful sanctions that have caused untold suffering on Zimbabwe.
The picketing was organised as part of the ongoing celebrations of Africa Day, with the ANC Gauteng international relations convenor Peace Mabe saying the sanctions that were imposed by the Western countries for more than two decades now are impeding the country's economic growth.
This comes as African countries have declared October 25 of each year a day of solidarity against the sanctions with other events taking place in between as pressure mounts for the unconditional removal of the economic embargoes.
ANC members, activists, and ordinary citizens carried placards and engaged in a peaceful demonstration. They sang freedom songs and called upon the world to stop the carnage in Palestine as well as lift the economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Cde Mabe was quoted in the South African media saying the demonstration was also meant to spotlight the plight of Palestinians who have been under bombardment from Israel resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people, mostly women and children.
"Today's event is a continuation of the Africa Day celebration. The ANC's NEC made a decision that we needed to dedicate in solidarity with the people of Palestine.
"On Tuesday, we went to the Israel embassy in Pretoria to hand over a memorandum, and today we are here. What is special about today is that we have added the Zimbabweans -- we want America to lift sanctions against Zimbabwe," said Cde Mabe.
ANC Johannesburg regional secretary Dada Morero said they came to raise the plight of the Palestinians and the struggle for self-determination and the sanctions on Zimbabwe.
"America needs to repeal the law against Zimbabwe which is called Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001. We will continue to demonstrate in Johannesburg and all over the country," said Cde Morero.
Speaking at the Political Actors Dialogue (Polad) press conference, following a meeting with the United States over sanctions, Zanu PF representative and the party's Secretary for Finance Cde Patrick Chinamasa said the combined voices of former liberation movements will produce the desired outcome.
"That development must be applauded, it demonstrates the spirit of former liberation war movements.It is a solidarity that exists between our two nations. We are suffering under sanctions and the ANC is saying enough is enough, these sanctions are illegal in violation of the United Nations Charter.
"Any sanctions that do not have the approval of the UN Security Council are illegal and a violation of international law.
"As you are aware, the sanctions have wreaked havoc on Zimbabwe especially the poor. We are elated that the ANC, in collaboration with Zanu PF, are making their voices loud and clear in demanding the removal of these unjust sanctions," said Cde Chinamasa.
Some of the placards read: "USA sanctions are killing our future" while another read "Sanctions are witchcraft against humanity".
The illegal economic sanctions, that are blind to the Second Republic's re-engagement efforts and the far-reaching political reforms that have been undertaken to entrench constitutionalism, have limited Zimbabwe's capacity to respond to the current Covid-19 pandemic.