South Africa is choosing the wrong side of history

By Nicholas Woode-Smith*

The ANC are repeatedly placing South Africa on the wrong side of history. While the ANC and the South African government claim that it is neutral in the growing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and more broadly Russia, China and the West, its behaviour says otherwise.

Despite Russia being embroiled in a brutal conquest against Ukraine, South Africa chose to have military exercises with Russia on the anniversary of Russia’s original invasion last year. This is not some harmless and apolitical exercise. It is actively assisting a hostile world power in developing its military strength.

No such help has been extended to the embattled Ukrainians, whose homes have been destroyed by Russian artillery and missiles, and lives taken by capricious Russian invaders.

The ANC has also continued anti-Western sentiments in its voting patterns at the UN. It is more likely to vote alongside North Korea than any major democracy. While the ANC pays lip service to human rights and Mandela’s foreign policy vision, its voting record and behaviour overseas suggests it is more likely to support a dictator than any Western nation trying to hold said dictator accountable.

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Just to name a few atrocious decisions made by South Africa at the UN:

  • In 2007 again, South Africa used its position as president of the UN Security Council to prevent any discussion over political violence happening in Zimbabwe
  • In 2007, South Africa questioned a resolution on ethnic cleansing and rape based on a triviality to avoid being seen as criticising Sudan’s President Omar al- Bashir.
  • In 2014, South Africa abstained from condemning the human rights abuses committed by North Korea.

And many more. South Africa refuses to condemn states for political violence, votes alongside Russia and China, and sabotages any resolutions it can that lead to increased human rights globally. Definitely not what Mandela envisioned!

Much of South Africa’s behaviour can be attributed to the ANC’s obsession with Cold War ideology. The ANC still sees the world as West vs East. And it sees itself on the East. An ally to a communist Russia that has long since abandoned communism.

The ANC obsessively wants to be recognised by Russia and China. What it gets in return for its subservience is corrupt and exploitative Nuclear Deals and balance of trade crises. Yet, it continues to prioritise China and Russia, despite them being costly trade partners and ridiculous allies.

The United States has already begun discussing the possibility of severing ties with South Africa over its support of Russia. South Africa pleads neutrality, but its behaviour says otherwise.

It is clear that the ANC does not represent South Africa’s interests or even popular views on the world. The majority of South Africans support Ukraine, according to a Brenthurst survey. The majority of South Africans consume Western media and culture, identify with Western values and support the notion of human rights and democracy.

Yet, South Africa’s government does not support these things. It would rather cosy up to Russia, an imperialistic Mafia state, and China, a totalitarian morass waging genocides against its own people.

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The possibility of the United States severing ties with South Africa, and the ANC continuing to align the country with pariah states and dictatorships should not be ignored. Apartheid South Africa was brought to its knees by Western sanctions. And that was even after the Apartheid-regime developed a local industry shielded from globalisation and the need for foreign commerce.

Modern South Africa is far more reliant on trade with the West than Apartheid South Africa. Three of the top five countries we export to are aligned politically with the West (USA, Japan and Germany). With the imminent demographic collapse of China, it may also lose its #1 spot as our biggest export partner.

Of import partners, we could lose Germany, the United States and perhaps even India and the United Arab Emirates if we continue to behave badly. We cannot rely on Chinese imports alone. If we lose our Western trade partners, we risk starvation and destitution.

The ANC is too fanatically obsessed with its Cold War era ideology. It is clear that we need new hands at the wheel to set forth a rational foreign policy.

It is more important than ever for a coalition of opposition parties that truly represent South African interests to rise to the fore and replace the ANC as a foreign policy maker. This coalition must be stable enough to win votes and form a powerful bloc in 2024.

With imminent grid collapse and the diplomatic crisis caused by our foolish ruling party, we need new blood in charge. No single party can replace the ANC. So, a coalition is the next best thing. As voters, we must identify the most well behaved parties that can form this coalition. Primarily, this means the DA. But the VF+, IFP, UDM, ACDP and other parties are also good candidates.

The parties we must steer clear from are the bad actors. The ANC, EFF, ActionSA, Patriotic Alliance, Al-Jama-ah and all parties that have proven to not be able to behave themselves when members of a coalition. This includes ANC proxy parties that are too willing to sabotage a coalition if the ANC offers them a position or a bribe. It also includes parties like ActionSA, who have a track record of torpedoing any coalition it enters out of some insane vendetta against the DA.

After an opposition coalition wins the next election, then we can begin repairing the damage that the ANC has done to South Africa, locally and abroad. Hopefully, the damage won’t be irreparable. But even if it may be, we have to start somewhere. And that somewhere is a new government led by a new coalition of reasonable parties.

Read more: From 1780s London to 2023 South Africa: Finding parallels in societal unrest and political reactions – Jeremy Gordin

*Nicholas Woode-Smith is a political analyst, economic historian, and author of the Kat Drummond Series.

The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of BizNews

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