THE invitation, by Uncle Sam’s Congress, of two private South African citizens to discuss South Africa’s foreign policy must not be taken lightly.
With the global political economy now gravitating towards a multipolar world, the US, for long enemies with almost everyone across the globe and facing serious internal and external pressures, particularly from China and Russia, is now vigorously embarking on its long held strategy of infiltrating and eventually destroying liberation movements in Southern Africa.
Crafted in the late 1990s, the ‘strategy’, premised on exploiting and looting the SADC region’s vast mineral resources, involves, among other things, weakening liberation movements through planting what they call ‘moderates’ to neutralise so-called ‘hardliners’; founding and funding opposition political parties; funding NGOs to destabilise their target countries as well as funding the academia for scenario-building.
ZANU PF and Zimbabwe, the prime targets of the CIA ‘plan’, are currently reeling from the now overt Uncle Sam vile overtures which were very much on display during the August 23 harmonised and now South Africa ‘is also up for grabs’.
On Wednesday last week, the South African duo of Chris Maroleng, the international chief executive officer of pro-regime change outfit, Good Governance Africa and CIA-linked ‘journalist’ Redi Tlhabi, together with one Anthony Carroll made presentations to the US Congress Committee on Foreign Relations where they made damaging remarks which they said were strategies on South Africa’s foreign policy.
South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation, Naledi Pandor, who was also in the US last week, summed up her country’s growing frustrations with Uncle Sam’s never ending antics which centred on Maroleng and Tlhabi’s ‘submissions’ on the ruling ANC.
“The government operates on the basis of the Constitution and the ANC does not run government offices, so I thought the subject matter was rather odd,” Pandor told SABC on Saturday.
She revealed that she would engage with her US counterparts to correct their ‘misunderstandings’ about South Africa, in particular the ANC.
This is not the first time that relations between the two have shown signs of deterioration.
In May 2023, US Ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, torched a diplomatic storm when he claimed that he had ‘evidence’ that Pretoria had supplied Russia with weapons in its going military exercise in neighbouring Ukraine.
Brigety said he would ‘bet his life’ that the Russian ship, Lady R, which docked in Simon’s Town Naval Base in December 2022 had been ‘loaded’ with South African arms.
Prior to the Brigety saga, Uncle Sam had furiously protested South Africa’s hosting of naval exercises with China and Russia in February 2023.
Uncle Sam claimed the joint exercises ‘undermined diplomatic efforts to isolate’ the two countries.
Both Zimbabwe and South Africa enjoy cordial relations with China and Russia dating back to the days of the liberation struggle.
This is why it is important to explore the duo of Maroleng and Tlhabi which has a disturbing history when it comes to doing Uncle Sam’s bidding.
Just before the August 23 polls, at 4:15 pm on August 17, Maroleng, together with his three colleagues, were deported from Zimbabwe for misrepresenting themselves to immigration officials in Bulawayo, while Tlhabi was, in 2019, accused by former South African President Jacob Zuma of working with Americans to tarnish his image.
Maroleng and his crew had claimed that they were in the country to observe the elections but they were outed when it turned out that they were conducting ‘vital research on election conditions and challenges in Zimbabwe’, something far detached from their mandate.
In the US, on September 27, they were at it again, pushing what, on paper, looked like strategies on maintaining the US-South Africa relations but in reality they were planning how Uncle Sam can upend the ANC which faces a crucial election next year.
“South Africa stands at a crossroads of profound significance,” Maroleng told the US Congress.
“Having overcome colonialism and apartheid, it now faces two critical new challenges: finding its place in a world entering a new era of great power competition and the post-apartheid State’s susceptibility to opportunistic governance and the mismanagement of the country’s economy.
The ideological battles in the ANC over the State’s role in the economy arise from resource conflicts, with the greatest challenge being the antidemocratic politics of the emergent kleptocracy.
Its second great challenge comes from renewed and emerging rivalries between major countries, such as China, India, Russia and the US.
These rivalries will define how the world navigates some of the great challenges of this century: conflict, technological disruption, climate change mitigation and poverty alleviation.
The relationship between South Africa and the US has faced a series of challenges, leading to a significant deterioration in recent years.
At the heart of these tensions lie fundamental differences in foreign policy.
South Africa’s foreign policy, characterised by non-alignment, contrasts with the US’ assertive global posture, which is a reflection of its power on the global stage.
These differences have been notably evident in key areas. The war in Ukraine has been a contentious issue. South Africa’s reluctance to join in international condemnation over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine stands in sharp contrast to the US stance against Russian aggression.
Further complicating matters is South Africa’s growing alignment with China, particularly as a member of BRICS. China’s increasing economic and strategic influence in South Africa has raised concerns in the US, which views China as a strategic competitor.”
While it is not exactly difficult to know why Uncle Sam’s ill-fated strategy of infiltrating and ultimately destroying Zimbabwe, with it liberation movements, continues to fail, the inescapable reality is that he has failed to endear himself to the progressive world through his bully tactics which are now steadily spreading across the SADC region.
The agony of defeat for their horse, CCC, in August, may have prompted this escalation of hostilities against South Africa.
Tlhabi is then tasked with the role of making South Africa ‘see’ the light in her presentation to the Congress.
“There are a lot of politicians who say stupid things,” she said.
“There is a Minister who recently said something about the CIA funding non-profit organisations.
That’s a lot of nonsense and it gets called out in South Africa.
It is true that South Africa benefits richly from its relationship with the US, far more than it does from its relationship with Russia.
“South Africa also has far more in common with the US and shares common values and norms – an independent judiciary, checks and balances, a free press and a robust civil society that pushes back against State excesses.
There is much to value and salvage from this relationship. However, African States don’t want to seem weak.
They do not want to be seen to be doing the bidding of the US.
Their peers and constituencies may punish them for that.”
What Uncle Sam is plotting against ZANU PF, the ANC and other liberation movements is particularly galling for nationalists because his actions will, without doubt, invoke outrage from South Africa, from the region and from Zimbabwe, in particular, which has been battered by the US’ illegal economic sanctions as part of its broader regime change putsch.
South Africa and the ANC must be wary of Uncle Sam’s manoeuvres.
Of course we cannot leave out the compelling fact that the US’ scattergun approach has caused an overarching sense of chaos in the world
The majority want a peaceful world, a world of justice and equality, a world that strives to survive without undue interference from Uncle Sam who is not above reproach.
But his arrogance, coupled with disrespect of other nations’ sovereignty, has largely contributed to the pervading atmosphere of constant upheaval and an unhealthy state of flux in almost every part of the now agitated globe.
Put simply, Maroleng and Tlhabi are agents of chaos.
One has to look at how Nevers Mumba’s SOEM malaise in Zimbabwe has now unravelled and seeped through the new target of the anti-liberation movements, the ANC
Liberation movements must now mobilise the masses to protect the liberation struggle legacy.