ANC’s focus on Israel clearly an electioneering ploy

Kenneth Mokgatlhe

Kenneth Mokgatlhe

Published Feb 26, 2024


Kenneth Mokgatlhe

South Africa’s unsung hero and philosopher Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe said during the launch of his party, Pan Africanist Congress, in 1959: “I wish to make it clear again that we are anti-nobody. We are pro-Africa. We breathe, we dream, we live Africa because Africa and humanity are inseparable.”

Sobukwe was a political strategist who was cognisant of the balance of power. He was inspired by the outcomes of the Bandung Conference in 1955 where 29 Asian and African countries resolved not to take either side of the East or the West. It is clear that Sobukwe acknowledged that African countries had a duty of building inclusive and effective state institutions, policies and systems to replace the foreign systems which were imposed by the colonialist.

Numerous African and Asian countries are adhering to the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement in the conflicts between Israel and Hamas as well as Russia and Ukraine. South Africa recently made headlines when it took Israel to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), on the accusations of genocide by Israel against the people of Gaza.

Pretoria’s foreign policy has proved to be shifting from the West to the East political and economic bloc. In 2010, under the country’s controversial former leader, Jacob Zuma, South Africa joined BRIC which then became BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and SA) a move that was seen as the adoption of the “Look East Policy”. South Africa has sought to strengthen its ties with the powers in the East, among them Russia, China, Turkey and Iran in recent years.

It is paradoxical that the ANC, the governing party in SA since 1994, has been presiding over an inconsistent foreign policy which has turned it into hypocrites. The ANC do not see anything wrong with supporting and associating with Russia’s Vladimir Putin, whom it believes is a hero for invading and killing Ukranians.

The ANC is complacent about what the tyrant Zanu-PF is doing to the oppressed Zimbabweans. It is mind-blowing to imagine that the Zimbabweans have been oppressed in the backyard of the ANC for the past 24 years. However, it does not mind focusing on things taking place miles away while it is failing to improve the livelihoods of its people or look after human rights of neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe.

I was neither flabbergasted nor irked when I read about the unholy meeting between Cyril Ramaphosa and Mohamed Hamden Dagalo who is chiefly implicated in the 2005 genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Well, we should all remember that the International Criminal Court ruled that South Africa was guilty for not having arrested former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir who is accused of war crimes, genocide and violations of human rights.

South Africa, under the ANC, is continuing to use every chance it gets to delegitimise the State of Israel. The ANC’s obsession has nothing to do with resolving the historical and political impasse between Israel and Palestine. It is trivialised and politicised and being used as an electioneering weapon to deflect and defocus the attention and sobriety of voters who are so disillusioned with the bad record of Nelson Mandela’s party.

If we are really to believe that our foreign policy is premised on the principles and values of human rights, does the same logic not apply to the Zimbabwean situation which has been persistent for more than 24 years?

According to the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law, more than 8 000 Christians have been killed for their faith by the Islamist radicals.

I am just worried by the ANC’s growing and increasing cosiness with Hamas, a terrorist group that does not have regard for the people it claims to be waging the struggle for. Does the ANC know that Hamas has been diverting funds meant for the civil services of the people of Gaza since 2005 to build tunnels and buy armaments in a bid to eradicate the State of Israel, that is what it meant when it said “from the river to the sea”. It wants destruction of the Jewish State.

What happened to the ANC that condemned the senseless attacks by the PAC against civilians because they were white people, on the eve of democracy? It was the ANC that ridiculed those who were calling for white people to be driven into the sea, encouraging dialogue which avoided more loss of lives. The compromise did not bring about social justice but more was achieved at the table. Negotiations are a prerequisite for any peace and stability attainment. When the armies fight, politicians should be seated around the table to reach a consensus, everyone will not get what they want which becomes a compromise, the nature of negotiation.

Mokgatlhe is a political writer and columnist. He is studying for his MA in African Studies at Ben Gurion University.

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