Beyond settler colonialism is not yet emancipation : on the limits to liberation in Southern Africa

02 Aug 2012

Since coming to political power, the anti-colonial liberation movements in Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa (all former settler colonies) have remained in control over their societies. During their struggles, an international solidarity movement offered them support for their legitimate demands for national sovereignty, the right to self-determination in independent states and the elimination of racial discrimination. This article suggests that solidarity should be understood as a living moral, ethical and political obligation that entails empathy with and loyalty to the fundamental human values of equality and dignity. In this sense, solidarity is not confined to a particular era or stage of historical processes. It is an ongoing commitment and engagement. From this point of departure, the following reflections deal with the limitations of the liberation gospel once it became implemented in post-colonial and post-apartheid Southern African societies.