The only democracy to argue before the ICJ hearing on Israel’s genocide-prevention barrier was South Africa. This ten-year old democracy felt comfortable sitting with the likes of Sudan, Cuba, and Indonesia (currently waging an ethnocide in Aceh). This was not the first time for the African National Congress (ANC) -led South Africa. During the 2001 UN World Conference on Racism held in Durban South Africa, there was a vote to approve compromise language that does not include a charge of racism against Israel. Thirty-three countries voted against the compromise. If you were to list the thirty-two countries with the worst human rights records, with the most repressive regimes -- not one of which is a democracy -- this would be the list. The most depraved culprits are there: Sudan, Syria, Viet Nam, Iran, China, Cuba, Iraq (then under Sadam Hussein), Afghanistan (then under the Taliban and this less than one week before September 11th). The thirty-third nation to oppose the compromise was ANC-led South Africa.
On the tenth anniversary of the demise of apartheid, it seems perplexing why democratic South Africa increasingly places itself unashamedly in the camp of the anti-democratic, human-rights abusing, terrorist-supporting world. What is it that drives this country, which has suffered political oppression for so long, into the warm embrace of the likes of Castro, Qadaffi, and Saddam Hussein?
Quite simply, South African foreign policy has been hijacked by a clique of unrepentant, fundamentalist, Soviet-era Communists. In effect, the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs is Communist-occupied territory.
The ANC Minister of Foreign Affairs is Nkosazana Dalamini Zuma, a Cuban trained doctor. In the first ANC government, Zuma was Minister of Health. Her idea of tackling South Africa’s most serious socio-political issue, AIDS, was to fund an educational play, SARAFINA II, promoting AIDS awareness. Over 40% of the Health Department’s AIDS budget at the time was earmarked for SARAFINA II; the money went to an ANC stalwart artist (who after sequestration revived his career by composing racist anti-Indian songs). The play was never produced; the vast sums of money were never recovered; and AIDS was neglected. Under Foreign Minister Zuma AIDS grew into a veritable pandemic and the greatest problem facing the country. The Heath Commission on corruption investigated the matter and found Zuma liable for the loss and began instituting legal proceedings against her. True to style, the ANC disbanded the Heath Commission, gathered around Zuma and promoted her to the foreign office. One of Zuma’s first overseas visits as foreign minister was to Cuba where she publicly announced that ANC-South Africa and Cuba had “shared values.” Reminiscent of apartheid’s Foreign Minister Pik Botha who always used to argue that blacks in Africa, although without the vote, were better off than blacks in the rest of Africa, Zuma said to startled reporters: “Would you rather be lying in the gutter with a vote, or be a poor person in Cuba?” She told the reporters that if they paid more attention they “would be amazed how democratic Cuba is.” Incidently, on that visit Cuba expressed support for South Africa’s campaign for less expensive drugs to treat AIDS victims.
South Africa’s stance on Zimbabwe is even more disconcerting. Robert Mugabe, is a black version of Henrik Verwoerd, grand architect of apartheid. There is no press in Zimbabwe; no freedom of assembly; no rights for trade unions; no freedom of expression; its jails are packed with dissidents; those who oppose the African Fuhrer (Mugabe’s most loyal storm trooper was one Hitler Huntzvi) are tortured and terrorized. Apartheid was repressive, but, unlike Mugabe, the apartheid regime never embarked on a mass starvation program of its own people (a new Kulak type tragedy happening as the ICJ sits). Foreign minister Zuma has condemned Britain and Europe for interfering in Zimbabwe; she believes it is a regional matter and former colonialists have no right to preach to a Comrade Bob. She has recently defended Zimbabwe’s restrictive censorship laws which called for the immediate two-year imprisonment of journalists who do not receive licenses to write from the government: “How does government registration of journalists translate into government control of the media?” It’s hard to believe that someone who fought apartheid can say a thing like that.
Abdul Aziz Pahad argued the South African case against Israel at the recent ICJ. Pahad is ANC-South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and also a veteran ANC stalwart. The same Pahad was a regular visitor of Saddam Hussein when brutality ruled the day in Iraq. In July Pahad hosted an official ANC party in honor of Tariq Azziz when the latter visited. The recent uncovering of the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organization documents have pointed to Sandi Majali and Tokyo Sekwala, two prominent ANC buddies of Pahad, as guilty of UN sanctions busting to the tune of 2 billion Rands. UN sanctions busting seems to have been a profitable pastime for comrade brothers under the protection of the Communist occupied Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
South Africa has claimed that it is a member in the global anti-terror coalition. On Saturday July 20 2002, at the Indaba Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, three South African Ministers, Minister of Transport Dullah Omar, Minister of Water Affairs Ronnie Kasrils, and Deputy Foreign Minister Pahad were guests of honor at a meeting of the Hamas Friends of El Aqsa. All three ANC ministers spoke and shared the platform with known Hamas activist Azzam Tamimi, who gave the keynote address. Among Tamimi’s more notable gems was this one: “Do not call them suicide bombers, call them shuhada…They are not desperate, they are hopefuls. They have guns, we have the human bomb. We love death, they love life.” (http://www.aqsa.org.uk/actvities/saminutes.html). I am told that the ANC ministers applauded Tamimi.
The last figure of interest is ANC Minister of Forestry and Water Affairs, Ronnie Kasrils, who, when he is not Jew-baiting, doubles up as honorary member of the South African Communist Party Politburo (this is not joke – the politburo is still very much alive in post apartheid South Africa). Kasrils has exemplary Communist credentials—in 1964 he was trained by the KGB in Odessa, USSR. In 1968 during the Czechoslovakian Spring of Dubjzek Kasrils was persuaded “that the Soviet Union had no option but to check what most on our side saw as a slide into counter revolution.” In 1977 he underwent training by the East German (GDP) Stazi. In 1963 Kasrils met Che Guevara in Tanzania and came away thinking the man was a god “apart from ordinary mortals.” Kasrils found Cuba both stimulating and inspiring; he was, and still is, overawed by the man he affectionately calls Fidel. Kasrils was Deputy Minister of Defense in the first ANC-led government. Re-enacting the Soviet Union’s brutal invasion of Czechoslovakia, he orchestrated South Africa’s illegal invasion of Botswana, a bloodcurdling fiasco he called “a baptism of fire.” Kasrils was also one of the driving forces behind South Africa’s appearance at the ICJ against Israel. In a recent article in the Sunday Times, Kasrils wrote: “We must not be fooled by Sharon's statement of unilateral withdrawal and token dismantling of some settlements. He is leaving a huge prison in place.” This, coming from a man who was convinced by a Stazi thug of the justification for the Berlin Wall: “It [West Germany] was bent on destroying the German Democratic Republic, which was why the ‘wall’ [italics in original] was necessary. What was wrong with having a border between two states, one extremely hostile to the other? It sounded convincing.” (pg. 131, Armed and Dangerous, Ronnie Kasrils – Heinneman Education 1993 edition).
Zuma, Pahad, Kasrils and others participated in the struggle to liberate South Africa from apartheid. But the worthiness of the cause and their personal display of bravery cannot be an excuse. Nothing less than the future of a hard-earned democratic South Africa is at stake. They tragedy is that some of those who fought to liberate South Africa are dragging her, kicking and fighting, back into the arms of the very tyrannies they liberated her from, a repressive camp represented by every other nation who appeared together with South Africa at the recent ICJ hearing against Israel.