Defend Truth

FOREIGN AFFAIRS OP-ED

A question for Washington and Pretoria: Do African lives matter?

A question for Washington and Pretoria: Do African lives matter?
From left: South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor (Photo: Michel Porro / Getty Images) | US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. (Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

It’s hard for the United States to be looked up to in Africa if it is not standing upright.

The day before the International Court of Justice passed judgment on the case of genocide instigated by South Africa against Israel, the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, made a call to his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor. The read-out of the conversation is bland.

“The Secretary reaffirmed support for Israel’s right to ensure the terrorist attacks of October 7 can never be repeated. Secretary Blinken and Minister Pandor also reaffirmed the importance of the US-South Africa partnership and cooperation on shared priorities, including health, trade, and energy.”

While such statements are usually an exercise in diplomatic banality, such a vapid commentary on a subject of such importance is as maddeningly unwelcome as it’s mostly unsurprising. The Biden administration has form on democracy in Africa.

This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa warned darkly of countries with “a regime-change agenda” interfering in South Africa’s election. This was because South Africa had “exposed the moral bankruptcy of those countries who, by their acts of omission and commission, are allowing genocide to take place in Gaza on their watch. We say this humbly, without pointing fingers.”

SA’s President was not referring to Russia of course, which has some form in election gerrymandering, and not only at home. The finger was pointing at the US, which the ANC has decided is to be the target of its new populist foreign policy as it repositions itself as an anti-Western friend of Russia, Iran and China.

Ramaphosa’s tilt at the imperialist windmill is somewhat ironic. The US has in recent times been more than accommodating of liberation movements and their rigged elections.

Little over a year ago, Blinken gave his country’s blessing to Angola’s 2022 general elections, saying, “We congratulate President-elect João Lourenço on his election as Angola’s next president. We look forward to working with him to strengthen the vital relationship between Angola and the United States.”

The US, Blinken said, commended “the millions of Angolan voters who cast their ballots in this election, and in doing so demonstrated their commitment to strengthening democracy”.

Blinken’s comments were a new high point in Orwellian doublespeak. There are very few serious observers of the election who concurred, at least in private. More Angolan voters voted for the opposition party Unita than for Lourenço, a fact claimed by Unita using a parallel counting method and backed up by the independent civic movement Mudei, which monitored the election.

Despite the fact that some 2.7 million “deceased people” were on the voters’ roll, Angola’s courts rejected Unita’s challenge and, as soldiers were mobilised across the country to put down protests, the dodgy result stood.

“We demand electoral truth. No to fraud!” said one of the many young Angolans who had voted to throw out the MPLA government which had ruled since 1975, enriching its elite and failing to bring development to the country despite massive oil revenues.

washington pretoria João Lourenço

President João Lourenço of Angola. (Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images)

Barely a month later, Lourenço was at the White House shooting the breeze with US President Joe Biden.

Biden said: “Simply put, a partnership between Angola and America is more important and more impactful than ever.”

Then he got down to business: “Together, we’ll be mobilising more than … $1-billion for railway lines that extend from Angola to Zambia to the DRC, and ultimately to the Indian Ocean, connecting the continent for the first time from east to west.”

Ka-ching!

Presumably, this path is not because African democracy is not worthy of Washington’s support. More likely, commercial interests trample values, again.

And yet the strongest selling point among Africans, especially its younger cohort, of the US is precisely its democratic status, a feature preferred by more than 70% of Africans polled.

When asked which country they saw as the best model for their future development, 33% of respondents in a 2021 Afrobarometer survey chose the US, while 22% chose China. Out of 34 countries surveyed, the US polled more than China in 23 countries, greater than the number two years earlier. Younger Africans (36% of people aged 18-25) said they were more likely than older Africans (26% of people above 55) to prefer the US as a model for development.

‘Big man politics’

The endorsement of the flawed election and the embracing of the Angolan strongman who rigged it was revealing on two levels. 

First, it showed that the US was still stuck in the “big man” politics of Africa where you concentrate your efforts on winning over an elite, usually with expensive projects. 

Second, it showed how US geostrategic interests — in this case, competition with China for the renewable energy mineral portfolio of the southern Congo — are the key drivers of its African interventions. The trains on the Lobito Corridor will be the bearers of these minerals.

The Angolan electoral doublespeak was followed by DRC electoral doublespeak in December after that country held elections that also failed the credibility test. Nothing, not even democracy, should stand in the way of Biden’s trainloads of minerals.

The problem with this approach is that it is focused on elites — usually corrupt, frequently human rights abusers and by no stretch of the imagination, democrats — at the expense of the people who are at their mercy.

How do the voters of Angola view the US proselytising about human rights elsewhere when their right to choose their government was taken away from them with the enthusiastic support of this same government? The answer is, “with a great deal of anger and cynicism”.

The US needs to wake up to the fact that this “big man” old guard, which has held on to power way past its sell-by date, does not represent the continent and is, in fact, the root of its failure to develop and offer a better life to its people.

But Washington appears blind to the fact that there is an African Renaissance under way. It is not so much the developmental renaissance imagined by then President Thabo Mbeki as a political renaissance led by highly resilient opposition figures who wish to see democratic transformation.

The Brenthurst Foundation hosted many of these leaders last year in Poland where the Gdansk Declaration was signed. This 21-point document commits leaders to follow democratic practices and to act with openness and accountability.

One of the signatories was Adalberto Costa Júnior, the leader of Unita, a party which ought to have won the 2022 election. Leaders from Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya, among many others, signed the pledge.

Writing about the declaration, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Polish president and Nobel laureate Lech Walesa and former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko said: “We are in the era of intellect, information and globalisation. The old order is collapsing, but the new order has not yet arisen.

“Those wanting to build a new society need to work together and win one another’s trust.

“This struggle between the old and the new is epitomised by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is a struggle between those who are seeking to create a new imperial order where might is right and those who believe in democracy and the application of global rules around sovereignty.”

The US needs to understand that its “big man” diplomacy might yield cynical short-term gains, but undermines the much-needed transition to democracy in Africa by ignoring those across the continent who are sacrificing a great deal to bring about change.

It also undermines the US’s strongest selling point in Africa: its freedoms of opportunity, political as well as economic, and the prospect of social mobility.  

Little wonder that US foreign policy no longer carries the weight it once had when it resonated with those wanting democracy across the globe. It’s hard to be looked up to if you are not standing upright. 

The US attitude towards democracy on the continent, and indeed towards a SA which, to misquote President Lyndon Johnson, “is inside the tent pissing in” when it comes to being on Washington’s side in managing international crises, may sympathetically be explained by the limits to its bandwidth.

Regional challenges

The international system is facing several simultaneous regional challenges.

Across the Middle East, Iran and its proxies, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthis in Yemen, are waging war against various combinations of Israel, the monarchies of the Gulf and Jordan, and the US. These fights have threatened to spill over into the Red Sea states, in the process inflaming domestic insurrections among some littoral states, but with a regional design. 

In East Asia, China is deliberately flexing its muscles against what it sees as US containment. As Xi Jinping told delegates to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference in March 2023, “Western countries led by the United States have implemented comprehensive containment, encirclement and suppression against us, bringing unprecedented severe challenges to our country’s development.”

In addition to its constant testing of the defences of tech-rich Taiwan, Beijing has also spoken out against those other regional countries allied with Washington: Vietnam, the Philippines and Japan. These countries, one Chinese military official has remarked, are “the three running dogs of the United States in Asia. We only need to kill one, and it will immediately bring the others to heel.”

The US has to find the means, too, to counter China’s $1-trillion commercial-diplomatic Belt and Road Initiative, which uses a combination of loans and infrastructure to extend influence.

The BRICS grouping should be viewed in the same light, purportedly representing the interests of the “Global South” in an attempt to remake the extant rules-based international order more to China’s interests. 

This includes the ambition to undo the US dollar’s dominance as the preferred reserve currency, driven by the fear of being trapped by a weaponised dollar through the imposition of extraterritorial measures, along with a more general thrust among poorer nations for greater economic independence.

And in Europe, considered for 70 years to be mostly stable and settled, war has returned as Russia, a declining power, has attempted to assert its primacy in the former Soviet states. Not only is this set to last, at various intensities, for years in a bitter proxy struggle with the West, but it could expand to draw in other states under a pretext of reinstating Russian rights, notably in bits of the Baltics, such as the Suwalki Gap in northeastern Poland linking Belarus with the Baltic.

In Latin America, where populists abound, across the Sahel and into West Africa, where big men increasingly once more rule, and with ongoing Islamist insurgencies in several places, the US has apparently found its limits in managing multiple multi-theatre crises. It doesn’t need to inflame a problem with South Africa. 

Across these regions, the starkest division is between those with authoritarian governance and geopolitical gripes on the one hand, including a desire to refashion the multilateral order (though none of the aggrieved can agree on how), and a more liberal order which has delivered relative prosperity in the generation since the end of the Cold War (if imperfectly so). 

The perception seemingly shared among those challenging the current rules-based order is that these rules have been made unfairly in the interests of the West, the “haves”, against the interests of the “have-nots” — even though there is little aside from their in-principle grievances on which the “have-nots” agree.

For now, however, there is a common enemy in the US, itself divided at home and uncertain abroad.

At best, Blinken’s call with Pandor is to signal (to like-minded colleagues, among others) that Washington and Pretoria are talking.

The question is: to what end? Perhaps the silent treatment might have delivered more, or at least not signalled tacit acceptance of SA’s one-eyed view on Israel’s excesses while remaining silent on the multitude of African abuses.

Ramaphosa’s use of the foreign-funding bogeyman should remind Washington what happens when you are perceived as weak or distracted.

Then again, it’s hard to moralise on much when you have such a flip-floppy attitude towards democracy on the continent. At this rate, Washington will be promising us rides to the airport next. Just ask any Afghan about the value of that pledge. DM

Greg Mills and Ray Hartley are with The Brenthurst Foundation.

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  • Johan Buys says:

    Sad reality : African lives do not actually matter to anybody but us. Everybody else (chinese or european) would prefer Africa counted the same natural resources and 25% of the population, like it was in the sixteenth century. They love our politicians and cheap labor is all.

    Anybody that thinks China is investing in Africa to uplift its people is a fool.

    • Kenneth FAKUDE says:

      True Johan there is no difference between south and west in terms of interest but the west was imposed in Africa through colonization and then they left through concessions that suited their interests, hence the big brother mentality.
      Moving to the global south will open a way of starting relationships in our terms.
      The west and Europe won’t take this lying down so there will be pain.
      They were so confident in their abuse that Donald Trump said Africa never learned from the previous colonization maybe we need to do it again.
      We go to Syria and we just take the oil, Trump said that in the middle of a devastating civil war.
      Ukraine and Israel will be the latest casualties of the allied west and Europe.
      Poverty is mounting in Africa, rich in climate and resources why? concessions.
      Sanctions is a stick they used well because of the domination of the dollar as a foreign currency.
      You can print money but it’s valueless without foreign exchange.
      Yes Johan the story needs to change but change comes with pain.
      We need to fasten our seat belts for the turbulence.

      • Johannes Conradie says:

        I think that would be the sentiment for any two nations competing over resources (i.e. wishing your neighbours had a fraction of its current population so that you can expand). There is no global conspiracy to enslave and exploit Africa. It just so happens that African leaders sell out their resources, people and responsibilities across the continent. For sure, all sorts of concessions and sanctions contribute to Africa’s position. However, it is naive to expect other countries to unilaterally give up their stake in our resources as an act of virtue and respect for local people. It still boils down to African leaders needing to take responsibility for its people and to assert itself on the world stage. We can go on and on complaining about colonization, big brother mentality, but all of these dynamics are maintained in a bi-lateral fashion, with some foreign nation on one side and the African leaders doing their part on the other. The change needs to start between locals and their leaders. It is not the responsibility of other nations to come hold our hand so that we can stand on equal ground with them. By definition a nation state should take its sovereignity seriously.

        And yes, it is naive to look to Russia and China for help in this imagined fight against the West. The Western democratic states, free markets and views on human dignity remains the best system we have come up with to date.

        • Lucius Casca says:

          Exactly, this colonization rubbish is just a distraction so Afrikastaat can justify their own shortcomings. They’re is also this incessant focus on trying to do things the “African way”, which is nonsense, there is only the right and the wrong way. And giving our clear affinity for communists and terrorists, we can only extrapolate which way we will be adopting.

        • Dietmar Horn says:

          That’s exactly how reality is. 1) The governments of the “West” act first in the interests of their own peoples. 2) They usually offer fair deals to their partners unless guys like Trump come to power. 3) Governments like those in China fear nothing more than that their own people will be infected by the “virus of democracy”, but they see the Chinese people as a superior master race. Fair deals for Africa? 4) The feudal tribal mentality of most African leaders only has their own welfare and that of their favorites and comrades in mind. They blame the past and the “West” for the misery of their people. 5) In order to protect its own values, the “West” is forced not to always make these the yardstick when selecting its partners, which is of course perceived as hypocritical and is exploited against the “evil West”. 6) But that doesn’t make the despots of the “Global South”, their apologists and agitators, any less hypocritical when they present themselves as morally superior. By the way, given the kleptocratic oligarchies of the “Global South”, what could be more hypocritical than pointing the finger at the accumulated capital in a few hands in the “West”?

      • Denise Smit says:

        The real colonialists today is China and Russia. Just so funny that all people from Africa want to be in the West. They are flocking even endangering their lives to go to USA and all countries of Europe. Not China, not Russia, not Iran. …………..

      • Ben Harper says:

        Your head is buried so deep in the sand it’s not funny. China has been colonizing Africa for decades. In every single major project they do in Africa they contribute exactly zero to the local economy or local people. They import everything, from the materials to the people and even the food, they acquire and purchase nothing, they employ zero locals, they live in camps on the sites and don’t spend money outside of them.

        It’s also know that for some of their bigger projects the labour they bring in come from an entire prison and when the project is finished the prisoners are released at the sites but may not return to China

  • Yaakov Rashi says:

    We should only be focused on the suffering of Palestinians. This is what our government says and I know their comrades at Hamas would appreciate if we stay focused. ie any talk of problems in Africa can wait. Free Gaza!

  • jcdville stormers says:

    The ANC talks about moral bankrupcy,ha ,ha,ha joke of the last 3 decades

  • Steve Du Plessis says:

    I wonder if the call dealt with how much money Iran paid the ANC to take South Africa and israel to the ICJ and lose

  • Peter Smith says:

    Western Democracy has lost its way.
    There is a stark difference between what Aristotle wrote in his definition of democracy in 400BC which was implemented in Athens and what the West has implemented as a “democracy ”. In his original definition there was no political parties. Men were randomly selected to serve in government for a short period for which they were paid.
    The way that political parties are allowed to control the appointment of candidates and how candidates vote in matters subsequent to being elected is a failure of the original intention of democracy.
    South Africa is an excellent example of this having our political parties putting some of the most incompetent people on voters rolls. In local government, unskilled and unqualified councillors put forward by political parties are not competent to provide oversight and leadership on behalf of the electorate. With so many Western Democracies in trouble, has it not become time to read some of the fine print that Aristotle left us on how to implement democracy?

    • Albert Smith says:

      Here here and at the risk of sounding like a marxist (I’m not!) democracy has unfortunately become an entirely self-serving tool for the capitalists with the USA leading the way where essentially candidates are pitted against one another at the behest of billionaires and the various “NGOs” that these billionaires fund

      • Tom Gallagher says:

        I’d be curious in what evidence you use to come up with this. What I look at is, say, the largest 20 companies in the US and other big economies. The most dynamic is the US. Germany doesn’t have a single company under 50yo, whereas the US has many. Your comment about the wealthy pulling thr strings for their own benefit in the US means people would still care about GM, Ford, Texaco, DuPont, and CBS. Nah, if there’s anything we can say about the US is no one sits on top for long.

    • Lawrence Sisitka says:

      Yes, when are we going to stop bandying around that much-abused term, which has strayed so far from it’s original and real meaning. No, there is not real ‘democracy’ anywhere in the world. A few places have been close: the Scandinavians came quite close at one stage, but they are regressing fast. The UK seemed to come within a whisker in the 30 years after WW2 when they ‘never had it so good’ but have now given up any semblance. And the US…well, there’s not much to be said there. The so-called ‘communist’ states (they weren’t even that really) never even pretended. So can we not have an agreement that we don’t refer to ‘Western Democracies’ any more. ‘Western Neoliberal Capitalist States’ is a bit of a mouthful, but much more accurate. At least let’s hold on the use of the ‘D’ word until somewhere they manage to institute genuine rule by the people, of the people, for the people, with a politics of representation rather than of power – the source of almost all the crass political shenanigans to which we are all endlessly subject, and the reason for rise of the Trumps, Bolsanaros, Erdogans, Orbans, Zumas, Netanyahus etc. OK, just a silly dream!

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        We are too stupid, myopic and led for democracy to be of any value.

        Race, religion and woke babble are the noises we define our useless lives by.

        50 million biased, intolerant, know it all voters are no more likely to get it tight than 5.

        Baaaaaaaahhh.

      • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

        Right… Q.E.D.
        😄

    • Ben Harper says:

      Spoken like a true Socialist

    • Johannes Putter says:

      We don’t base our ideas of democracy on Aristotle’s democracy because his idea of how a democracy should work is entirely void. You can’t have a system where everyone gets a say and not expect interest groups and voter blocks to not form. Political parties are a natural side effect of liberal democracy. Conservative people will vote in conservatives. Conservatives will realize they are more effective when working together and will work together to pass their agenda. This is true of any ideological/political movement political faction. Parties exist to represent their constituents. Our Systems of government are too complex, our country is too big and we have too many people to rely on Polis Democracy.

  • fergy.dorothy says:

    We need the anc to step down from power which is never going to happen so they must lose in the next election. We can’t have the anc in power for another 5 years, South Africa will never recover from the looting going on in government. We need you improve our social services to our people and need our police force to be more honest when dealing with crime. All our SOEs should be managed by private companies so that the country can benifit. When are the individuals that were found compromised by the Zondo Commission going to have their day in court?. After spending more then a Billion Rand, Nothing.

  • Albert Smith says:

    Unsurprising really given that so much of America’s own voter base seriously believes that their own last election was rigged. The arguable reality is that so-called democracy has always been used as the tool or ideology under which the USA and its Western allies have perpetuated imperialism since the end of WWII, and under which they continue to wreak havoc to the global order. One can write an encyclopedia of this continued and persistent conduct over the course of the many decades since 1946. All empires rise and fall and history will point to some key recent events as indicative of what was about to happen. I would like to touch on only one, being the global financial crisis where unfettered American greed again brought the world to its knees. And what did this shining beacon of democracy, human rights, equality and justice for all do to the culprits of that atrocity…?

  • masibipheko7 says:

    When will the West stop treating Africa as an illegitimate child of the universe?

  • Michael Bowes says:

    Pathetic! – that question really is infantilizing Africa! It’s nobody’s job but your own to Pagamisa your own Mpondo. If Africa is not getting respect, Africa needs to ask itself some hard questions.

  • Alan Salmon says:

    “the US, which the ANC has decided is to be the target of its new populist foreign policy as it repositions itself as an anti-Western friend of Russia, Iran and China.” I never thought I would see the day that we would be allies with autocratic, undemocratic states who in the case of the first two have little to offer in terms of trade. The US are not innocent and have indulged in regime change all over the world, but they are still a democracy with all the benefits that brings.

    • Vic Mash says:

      The US is worse than Russia and China

      • Rod H MacLeod says:

        Well, like 90% of the world’s population I’d rather drive a Ford Mustang convertible V8 from Chicago to Las Vegas than a Trabant from Moscow to St Petersburg, and I’d rather eat a hamburger and fries washed down with coke than stewed reindeer meat and boiled potato washed down with cheap Vodka. [No comparison available with China because there you can’t do anything similar without a government sponsored escort]

        • Kanu Sukha says:

          You mean from Moscow to St Putinsburg. About that ‘sponsored escort’ … in Israel they do it with technology … and they don’t allow any ‘outsiders’ into ‘their’ occupied territories ! You got the figures wrong also … like 10% of the world which created 90% of climate change . A little bit of ‘education’ might help !

      • Ben Harper says:

        As usual – not a clue

    • Enver Klein says:

      How can you be a democracy when you Senate and Congress are run by Zionists and the vast majority of your citizens don’t have a say in whether your support Israel or not?

    • Nathalie Kaunda says:

      Nonsense. Gerrymandering is only the mildest form of voter suppression in the US. There are far more effective methods that are deployed.
      The authors should apply their concerns about Blinken to his attitude towards Israel.

  • J V says:

    Moral Integrity.

    A bit odd how people’s morals are easily influenced by local politics – or anything – for that matter. I would propose an exercise based on a premise where SA did not lodge the ICJ case, but Ireland did. Where Sinn Fein was already arguing to initiate the case, but SA was simply first. Currently, Sinn Fein is pushing to join and support the SA case directly. Sinn Fein, of course, also once labelled a terrorist org.

    In such an argument, of course, all the talk irw ANC morals, funding and motivations would fall away. Same case, same result – different instigator. Your moral integrity dictates that supporting the case or not, should therefore be the same. Ergo, when you truly evaluate the case on the merits alone without any local bias playing a role. Of course, the point is moot now, since the preliminary ICJ ruling implied that the case is anything but meritless. Point being, moral integrity.

    SA is not tasked with policing a globe’s indiscretions. You pick your battles, add geopolitics and then play to win. And, in this case, we didn’t win by 1 point, but 15-2, thereby, moving to the knockout stage.

    One part of the SA population had to contend with apartheid. And the other part, 125 years ago, had to contend with concentration camps designed with an official policy / intention to exterminate “in whole or part thereof” of an ethnic group, I find it apt that SA kept to its 1948 word and stands up in defense of the defenseless. Anything else, is but noise.

  • Charles Butcher says:

    The nazi controlled western hegemony don’t give a rats ass about black lives ANYWHERE in the world, time for africa to catch a wake up

  • Vic Mash says:

    Everything which has a beginning, has an end. If Africa ends ties with the US and its allies, that will be the end of this so called superpowers. The end is near.

  • Leslie van Minnen says:

    Do Sudanese and Ukrainian life’s matter?

  • Charles Butcher says:

    America imported SLAVES from Africa, do you really thinkthat they even give a rats ass about “black lives”. Without that slave trade they would have been as backward as ever,sooo NO THEY DONT CARE ABOUT AFRICAN LIVES ,clearly illustrated in their trade dealings and current intervention in the red sea area,they have ALWAYS, and still are ONLY IN IT FOR THE MONEY.

    • Graeme J says:

      A little history lesson that slavery has been pervasive around the globe for millenia, long before the formation of the USA or the UK. Slavery still exists in Africa and the Middle East.

    • Rod H MacLeod says:

      Your ignorance of history is on bold display here. The Barbary slave trade was conducted by the Barbary states of Africa, whereby white people from the northern mediterranean countries as well as Ireland and the British Isles, even as far as Iceland, were captured on sold on the North African markets. This was from 1500 onwards until Sweden and the USA gave the Barbaries a big smack in the 1800 to 1815 Barbary wars, which led to its decline. But the slaving only ended in 1847 when France invaded Algeria. Go and read something useful instead spouting interminable nonsense.

    • Ben Harper says:

      30%er

    • Ben Harper says:

      Are you related to Redwood?

  • Dee Bee says:

    You only have to read the utterances of our swaggering elite to understand that the ANC does not care one iota about South African lives, most of which are black, and increasingly impoverished. Loss of AGOA? “Let them! We don’t need trade with the USA!” was a common refrain from the economically illiterate elite of the ANC as the cloud of hundreds of thousands of possible job losses loomed over the agricultural and automotive sectors. 1 in 5 families in the Eastern Cape starving, with thousands of kids stunted as a result? Deathly (literally) silence from the ANC (remember, the starving are just Nomvula Mokonyane’s dirty voters, despised by the ANC). Kids drowning in pit latrines? The Basic Education Department goes to court to challenge the ruling that it has to provide proper sanitation facilities. You couldn’t make it up! And that’s before we get to the daily drudgery of yet another deployed cadre caught stealing from the poor!

    In a nutshell: unless you’re part of the ANC elite, the ANC despises you.

  • James Baxter says:

    When a African leader kill his own people the response to such killing is moot. The Israeli war is being used to pursue some populist agenda due to it’s international impact and media coverage. There is people dying everyday in Africa and South Africa does send troops, South African troops to quell violence in those areas. But I would prefer to see our government focus more on African people within our continent due to the fact that Africa has a lot of human rights abuses committed by African leaders. Israeli and Palestine should be left to the relevant parties to sort out. For starters, why is Palestine not developed economically to have skyscrapers and sophisticated military? Because Arab states are not supporting Palestine to build their own country. If Arab is not supporting Arab and SA government is meddling in issues outside it’s area of competence, then there is a problem in such a situation

  • Trenton Carr says:

    Morals? 😂

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    African lives will only matter when Africans make their lives matter! Mandela came close but no cigar sadly! With his own grand daughter selling historical personal belongings of his on auction for money, you have to wonder how deeply his life meant to his family, let alone to the rest!

    • Angus Summers says:

      The West does not owe Africa anything.
      As a continent, all nations in Africa need to stand on their own 2 feet.
      The reality is that Africa is not a poor continent what with the mineral wealth and oil reserves. There just isn’t any commitment to good governance unfortunately.

    • Ben Harper says:

      I’ll add to that

      It’s funny that those that shout the loudest about being anti-West and denigrating Democracy and Capitalism are those that have failed miserably in their own lives. It’s far easier to blame something/someone else than to accept responsibility and learn from their failures, those that do learn the lessons and embrace their failures strive, develop and succeed, those that don’t end up miserable and seeking scapegoats for their self imposed situations

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