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South African foreign polity

At first glance, South Africa is a first-world country. It’s when you take a deeper look at the country today, some 20 years since the peaceful handover of power from the hands of the rigid apartheid government to “the people” (read: the black majority), that you begin to wonder.

South Africa's now-creaking electrical power grid, the failed gold mines, the crumbling roads and the generally degenerating communications, transport and social welfare infrastructure are alarming. Yet the country's foreign policy could be described in the same way.

According to Howard Sackstein, writing in, “[South Africa has] watched [its] close friends and allies in the Middle East tumble from power in the Arab Spring.” South Africa supported (and in some cases still supports) the kleptocratic dictators of Swaziland, Sudan and Zimbabwe in Africa; in Burma (now Myanmar), and Iran, Saudi Arabia and China (to name just a few). Muamar Ghaddafi of Libya was a darling of South African politics. The government of South Africa still maintains a crashing silence on the murderous civil war in Syria.

Meanwhile, Pretoria has embraced the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah terrorist organizations in Gaza and the West Bank, and has feted their representatives on visits to...More >>


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