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SA/Russia expert Prof Irina Filatova sees many parallels in the way people in the two countries are disconnected from economic reality by outdated ideology. The Russian-born and educated historian, academic and author says this fact, along with possible support from Moscow, will ensure the ANC retains political power after SA’s 2024 National Election. In her sobering interview with Alec Hogg of BizNews, she also throws a proverbial bucket of icy Siberian water on hopes for Western Cape independence, warning that Pretoria’s support of the supposed multi-polar world is a fantasy – the future is unipolar and SA is taking a huge economic risk by aligning with China against the West. Brilliant analysis of the dark and too often ignored consequences of South Africa’s alignment with the Putin Regime.
Timstamps for the interview below:
- Prof Irina Filatova on Putin’s arrest warrant and Russia being ‘close friends’ with SA – 02:10
- On her background and how she came to South Africa – 02:45
- On why she had an interest in Africa – 04:20
- On the books she has written, edited and co-authored – 06:55
- On the long-standing ANC-Russian relationship – 10:00
- On the disconnect between society and the reality with SA thinking ideologically, not economically – 12:25
- On whether there is a case to be made for SA’s support of Russia – 13:50
- On countries joining the United Russia Party in support against neocolonialism – 16:25
- On ideological agendas and neocolonial thinking – 19:00
- On African values vs Western constitution – 21:00
- On democracy not fulfilling its promise – 22:05
- On what kind of trajectory SA is likely to be on – 23:25
- On Cape Independence: economic success but no ‘protectable border’ – 24:40
- On any upsides in South Africa amidst the gloom – 27:45
- On what she sees happening in the 2024 elections – 28:55
- On Steenhuisen’s ‘Moonshot Pact’ – 30:55
- On Russians supporting the ANC in retaining power – 31:30
Some extracts from the interview:
Prof Irina Filatova on Putin’s arrest warrant and Russia being ‘close friends’ with SA
I can promise that he (Putin) is not going to be arrested. Whatever happens, whether he comes or not.
Russia is certainly the closest friend of the South African government. While I suppose Putin, as the president of the Russian Federation, he is a close friend of the South African government.
On the long-standing ANC-Russian relationship
I think that one of the most important things that many South Africans do not see, particularly in the mainstream media, they look at this problem of support from the point of view of economic relations and where South Africa has benefits or where it benefits for its economy – economic ties, trade, foreign direct investment, and so on. But the South African government and very many people in South Africa look at it from a completely different point of view. Russia, whether it is a capitalist country or a non-capitalist country and it is now certainly not a socialist country anymore, but it is anti-Western, which to many South Africans means anti-imperialist.
On the disconnect between society and the reality with SA thinking ideologically, not economically
I think that South African society is not used to thinking economically. It is used to thinking ideologically. And as far as the government is concerned, I think it knows perfectly well where its economic interests lie. But I think, and I don’t know, I’m just guessing, I think that their idea is that the West will not go away. We are too important. They also benefit from the trade with us and they need us as a strategic partner. They do need us and they are not going to go away. And that remains to be seen because the world is dividing now and each part is free to choose its partners in this division.
On what kind of trajectory SA is likely to be on
What is clear to me is that the ANC is at the moment leading this country into a very difficult future – very difficult because economic trade is such an important pillar for everything in this country. And if you really damage that, then what is left? Where do you get the money from to feed the population? But the masses may not understand the connection between trade and the connection to the West and to the infrastructure of international relations.
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