In his address to the National Assembly of Nigeria earlier today, President Jacob Zuma has said that South Africa will not forget Nigeria’s sacrifice and struggle for liberation of his country.
According to him “Nigeria was very instrumental in establishing, in the 1960s and the chairing, for 25 years, the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid, and further hosted a UN anti-apartheid conference in 1977.”
“From the mid-70s, Nigeria and its people also hosted some of the exiled freedom fighters from South Africa, with numbers increasing after the Soweto Student Uprising in 1976.” he said.
“Acting on principle and determination to root out colonialism and apartheid, Nigeria volunteered to be part of the Frontline States, a regional group of countries in Southern Africa that were in the frontline to fight apartheid.”
“Nigeria provided travel documents to South African Exiles en-route to different parts of the globe to solicit support for our course;”
“Furthermore, Nigeria established the Southern African Relief Fund in 1976 to provide scholarships and other assistance to South African students and refugees. Hundreds of South African students were also trained in Nigerian universities.”
“More importantly, Nigerian civil servants had a “Mandela Tax” deducted directly from their monthly salaries to support our struggle for liberation. This was a real selfless contribution to the cause of freedom and an end to apartheid colonialism in South Africa.”
“Nigeria also canvassed for and led a boycott of the Commonwealth Games within the Commonwealth Group of Nations, in 1978 and 1986.”