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Exporting Apartheid to Sub-Saharan Africa. The Legacy of Nelson Mandela

Prof Michel Chossudovsky

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Dec. 13, 2013

This article was first published in French in the Monde diplomatique in April 1997.  It was subsequently published in the African Journal of Political Economy and in the author’s book: The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order. 

The policy of land expropriation in Mozambique leading to the establishment of White Afrikaner farms using indentured Mozambican farm workers had the support of the ANC government. It also had the the personal blessing of President Nelson Mandela “who had delegated Mpumalanga Premier Matthews Phosa to the SACADA Board of Governors.

Premier Phosa, a distinguished ANC politician and among the most prosperous black businessmen in Mpumalanga province (East Transvaal), contributed to laying the political ground work for the expansion of White Afrikaner business interests into neighbouring countries.  

The SACADA project was coordinated by the leader of the right wing Freedom Front and former South African Defense Force Chief General Constand Viljoen 

Viljoen developed a close personal relationship with Nelson Mandela. He had convinced Mandela that  promoting White Afrikaner  farms in neighbouring countries “would provide food and employment for locals”.  What was not discussed was that this ANC government policy implied a de facto process of land expropriation which went against the basic tenets of the ANC’s struggle for land rights for African peasants.

From the outset, international corporate agribusiness and the World Bank  were involved in this project. It is worth noting that during the period of “Transition” preceding the 1994 presidential elections, General Constand Viljoen had been “plotting an Afrikaner guerrilla war against multiracial rule”. (Financial Times, December 5, 2013)