Increasing Terror Links To South Africa

Op-Ed by a SATAC contributor

In 2018 I speculated on the SATAC platform that the current violent Islamic State activity in northern Mozambique around the gas reserves and processing areas is an example of a link between organise crime and terrorism. SATAC believes that around 100 residents or citizens of South African (SA) are involved in this extremism.

I also suggested that SATAC should look at linking the apparent terrorist events in SA (e.g. the mosque attacks and the murder of British botanists in KZN, etc).

I further commented that the ‘Cash In Transit’ robberies in SA and the level of expertise deployed could indicate possibly “training runs” or “hired specialists “ for organized crime by terrorist cells; e.g. using those to hire out expertise, train operatives and generate funds.

At that stage it was believed that my view was a bit of a stretch. It now appears to be more probable.

The problem is that SA is at least three years behind the development and is playing catch up. I believe that with few resources and expertise remaining in our security forces we will, sooner rather than later, see a serious act of terrorism in SA.

The sentiment that there remains “cooperation” through historic relationships between the ruling AVC and other “liberation” movements and that therefore SA remains a “safe haven” for terrorist organizations, are simply no longer true.

I was out with the timing as we are now three years down the line, but with growing economic vows, heading into an election and growing youth disaffection, it’s no longer a question of ‘maybe’ – it’s merely a question of ‘when’ will we see a large scale act of terrorism in SA.

I believe that now is the time for security professionals in SA to start doing more in preparations in protection of facilities and operations against a first serious act of terrorism and then further attacks on SA soil.

More should be done in training the public in terrorism awareness and active shooter event response.

The debate should now increase momentum on many levels with plans to protect operations and people in what will soon become a tragic reality in SA.

Hits: 23

How serious are threats from ISIS against South Africa?: Andy Grudko

Three years after ISIS appeared to be on its last legs in Iraq and Syria it has seized a city in Mozambique. The city is called Cabo Delgado, in the country’s north has been captured by fighters linked to the terrorist group, with the port of Mocimboa da Praia a particular concern. Now to discuss this and whether South Africa should be concerned we are joined on the line by Executive Director at SA Terrorism Analysis Centre, Andy Grudko For more news, visit sabcnews.com and also #SABCNews#Coronavirus#COVID19News on Social Media.

Hits: 73

Can South Africa’s Farm Attacks Be Classified As Terrorism?

This article was originally published by Security Focus Africa on https://issuu.com/contactpublicationsza/docs/sfa_july_2019/18

There’s a complex debate going on in some security and political circles as to whether or not farm attacks can be classified and prosecuted as Terrorism.

The debate is hampered by the restricted flow of information from the police, the organs of State intelligence and government departments and even the nominally independent Courts – although the latter has improved in recent years, notably after the open media coverage of the Oscar Pistorius murder trial.

Whilst there is no universal definition of Terrorism the elements of acts of terror are generally agreed upon. For example, the US Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as, “The unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives”.

The US Patriot Act of 2001 has a similar definition but includes, ”…when the intent of the crime is determined to be the endangerment of public safety or substantial property damage rather than for mere personal monetary gain.”.

Terror and terrorism are emotive words and can be appropriately applied as emotional reactions to events such as the theft of copper cable powering residences, business and hospitals, and critical infrastructure and National Key Points such as railways, communications. In such cases the public reaction is often to say, “They (The Law) should classify this as terrorism!” or perhaps ‘economic sabotage’.

But both terrorism and sabotage have an outcome that is more complex than just the ‘personal monetary gain’ that criminals derive from stealing copper. A person randomly shooting into a crowd, such as Stephen Paddock’s killing rampage in Las Vegas in October 2017, killing 58 concertgoers, is creating terror, that is, extreme fear, but as, according to the FBI investigation, he had no political motive, this was not an act of terrorism.

The South African Terrorism Act (edited below where not relevant to this article) has a fairly long definition of ‘Terrorist activity’ as:

(a) any act committed in or outside the Republic, which-

(i) involves the systematic, repeated or arbitrary use of violence (author’s emphasis in bold) by any means or method;

(ii) (Edit)

(iii) endangers the life, or violates the physical integrity or physical freedom of, or causes serious bodily injury to or the death of, any person, or any number of persons;

(iv) causes serious risk to the health or safety of the public or any segment of the public;

(v) (Edit)

(vi) is designed or calculated to cause serious interference with or serious disruption of an essential service, facility or system, or the delivery of any such service, facility or system, whether public or private, including, but not limited to-

(aa) to (gg) (Edit)

(vii) causes any major economic loss or extensive destabilisation of an economic system or substantial devastation of the national economy of a country; or

(viii) creates a serious public emergency situation or a general insurrection in the
Republic, whether the harm contemplated in paragraphs (a) (i) to (vii) is or may be suffered (to)(Edit)

(i) threaten the unity and territorial integrity of the Republic;
(ii) intimidate, or to induce or cause feelings of insecurity within, the public, or a segment of the public, with regard to its security, including its economic
security, or
to induce, cause or spread feelings of terror, fear or panic in a civilian population; or

(iii) unduely compel, intimidate, force, coerce, induce or cause a person, a
government, the general public
or a segment of the public, or a domestic or
an international organisation or body or intergovernmental organisation or
body, to do or to abstain or refrain from doing any act, or to adopt or abandon
a particular standpoint, or to act in accordance with certain principles, (Edit) and
(c) which is committed, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, for the purpose of the advancement of an individual or collective political, religious, ideological or philosophical motive, objective, (Edit).

However:

(4) Notwithstanding any provision of this Act or any other law, any act committed during a struggle waged by peoples, including any action during an armed struggle, in the exercise or furtherance of their legitimate right to national liberation, self-determination and independence against colonialism, or occupation or aggression or domination by alien or foreign forces, in accordance with the principles of international law, especially international humanitarian law, including the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the said Charter, shall not, for any reason, including for purposes of prosecution or extradition, be considered as a terrorist activity, as
defined in subsection (1).

Under Section 4, even if all of the elements of a Terrorist Act are present the perpetrators of farm attacks who are well informed, organised or defended may claim indemnity from prosecution under certain circumstances, even for rape, torture and murder by claiming they are part of a ‘legitimate’ liberation or anti-colonial movement, leaving the Court to decide if this is true or just a convenient lie. This ‘escape clause’ is unique to South African law and unfortunately also implies that the law here is subjective – subject itself to political interpretation and influence.

Much of the unnecessary violence of farm attacks can be proven to include racism, which can easily be called political because of the racial divisions in this country and the calls to violence of populist political leaders and parties. But without a direct correlation between the attacks and established political policies it is poor analytic method to say that most, if any, of these attacks fit any serious definition of Terrorism.

There is no doubt that even though the farm attacks are a small percentage of SA’s violent crime and that they are widely spread out over our large, low density populated areas, there are common threads and signs of training and organisation. But these threads and signs only loosely intersect with the methods promoted by established terror groups such as ‘The Islamic State’. And it’s not a ‘numbers game’, as shown in the case cited above of the motiveless Las Vegas shooter killing 58 if compared to the UK Houses of Parliament  car and knife IS inspired Terrorist attack in March 2017 that killed 5.

What we do see are stolen military or police weapons and/or equipment (including cellphone jammers) and borrowed military techniques, which may indicate individuals trained by the State. These techniques can also be learned in prisons and over the internet.

Those observers who say that farm attacks are a politically motivated attempt to drive white farmers off the land are ignoring the obvious conclusion that this is simply not working – our farmers are mostly staying and defending their land, businesses and families. If anything, the talk of non-violent ‘Expropriation Without Compensation’ appears to be perceived as a greater threat and reason, along with generally violent crime and collapsing services and infrastructure, to leave the country by South African whites and overseas investors.

Andrey P Grudko has been an independent security consultant since 1980 and is the Founding Director of the South African Terrorism Analysis Centre (satac.co.za).

Hits: 85

SATAC Members’ Predictions For 2019

Each year we ask our SATAC members what they think the new year holds for SA in particular regarding security and terrorism – these are our 2019 predictions

(NS) We will continue to see rise of the paramilitaries in the US with lone wolf attacks increasing with school shootings, and attacks on religious institutions and communities.
I see 2 ISIL related attacks in France, 2 attacks in the UK, 1 in Australia
with South Africa building up for at least 1 (based on the noise in the news recently).

(DD) Domestic events could be interesting around election time but internationally, there hasn’t really been a ‘big one’ for some time so is this the year?

(H) Nigeria is very much going to be an arena to watch. The elections are going to take away resources and focus off Boko Haram, allowing more attacks deeper into the South…..further than just Abuja.
In Uganda, we might see rebels going over the border from the DRC, threatening Uganda’s fragile democracy, increasing the impact from Ebola.
Kenya would further be an area of interest since we have seen continuous attacks in Lamu. Al Shabaab losing foothold in Mogadishu will want to reaffirm their position as a credible threat!

(AB) Locally I think we will see a bombing of a political party’s office or an assassination of one of the leaders. There are enough people with nothing to loose.

(AG) I look forward to the outcomes of the 3 pending ‘ISIS sympathisers’ terror trials and the reportage. But I fear that we won’t be given the level of case details that is released overseas, fuelling further speculation rather than aiding factual analysis.
Depending on the outcomes, other ‘Lone Wolves’ may feel emboldened to have their ’15 minuets of fame’.
There is also the possibility that our State Capture Commission of Enquiry may reveal terror funding or money laundering, as these were new opportunities for those who are now being revealed as criminals in suits, luxury cars and mansions.

(SB) Predictions, made within a global VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) context:
1) USA no longer world policeman – Russia & China will handle that as US troops return home.
2) A flow of wealth and power from west to east.
3) corporate interests from Canada, US, UK, Saudi, China, Russia will compete for identified natural resources throughout Africa using proxy armies and intel. with pushback by local communities.
4) Global financial reset, the end of Petro$ and gold backed $s, with a worldwide Rothschild central bank implosion.
5) Mass arrests worldwide re. corruption, financial terrorism, human trafficking at an industrial scale including what appears to be a purge & martial law in the USA, France and UK all programmed by social media.
6) New exotic weapons such as ‘nation killer’ hypersonic missiles that travel @ mach 20 and space-based directed energy weapons render traditional war machines obsolete.
7) Venezuela at war with Brazil, Columbia and Argentina.
8) Increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks on individuals and organisations involving data dumps and Doxxing causing reputation damage.

In Southern Africa
1) Mosques, synagogues and other religious or public spaces such as shopping malls attacked as these provide powerful and cheap media coverage.
2) kidnap and blackmail of key corporate execs and damage to brand assets.
3) Some ‘signature event’ leading up to the May elections.
4) Emergence of the social-media enabled African info-warlord.
5) Organised cyber & physical attacks on infrastructure and reputation
6) ISIS and Al-Shabaab inspired franchises & methods growing in Mozambique and spreading to adjoining countries.
7) The growth of paramilitary armies for-hire.

 

(JM) Russia: I would keep a close eye on Russia, their involvement within other nations, and how they have mastered the art of being involved without appearing to be involved.

France: The local radical attacks have increased throughout the last 2 years, I suspect that in 2019 all foreigners living and visiting France will be under close watch, but I feel that they might slip through the watchful eye of Intelligence.

Mozambique: The radical attacks in the northern province will either spread down the east side, or the government will take a drastic stance along with help from other countries to stand up against local attacks.

USA: I personally feel that Trump has caused enough conflict within the local government that his impeachment will happen in 2019, which will stop or delay any planned attacks in the US.

(Editor’s personal note: Whilst I agree that Trump might be impeached we do not know if this will be at the behest of the Democrats in Congress, or the Meuller or other investigations, which would not affect Radicalised persons, or the WH Hawks who want to continue the fight against ISIS/L in Syria etc., which may well spur ‘IS’ supporters into acts of terror)

(SB2) 1. There will be a major conflict event in South Africa. Terror, crime, civil, political – I can’t say. But wait for it.
2. I predict that Trump and Putin will find common ground. Some “contract.”
3. A major shift in stability, somewhere in Europe.
4. Another major mass shooting in the USA.
5. A new wave of conflict coming out of the USA, because of the US withdrawal.
6. A major scientific or Astronomical announcement. New planet, alien life, a new understanding.
7. A financial shift – boom, crisis or upheaval – probably around the oil issue.
8. An assassination somewhere. Not sure where, but at high level.

(JH) USA and Russia will buddy up against China….

(GB) Sees top executives being targeted for kidnapping operations as it becomes harder to do this in First World countries.

Hits: 129

SATAC Special Report: The Verulam Eleven

The Verulam Family Court heard on 22 Oct 2018 that eleven men accused of the May fatal attack at a KwaZulu-Natal Shia mosque and planting several incendiary devices at Durban shopping centres have links to the so called Islamic State (ISIS). The accused are from South Africa, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania.

The court heard that during their arrests, the men were found in possession of an ISIS newsletter and a manual on how to make bombs and carry out assassinations, as revealed in an affidavit that Warrant Officer Benedict Chonco of the Hawks presented in opposition to the men’s release on bail. W.O. Chonco revealed that some of the 11 men were positively identified for the Imam Hussein Shia Mosque attack in Verulam and for the planting of bombs at major Durban shopping centres.

Chonco also stated that CCTV footage at the Woolworths stores placed some of them at the scenes where incendiary devices were planted and that a white Hyundai Getz and VW Polo Vivo, allegedly used in the mosque attack and a Woolworths store in Gateway in Umhlanga, were registered to accused number one, businessman Farhad Hoomer of Durban.

Hoomer was identified as the leader of the group and his house in Reservoir Hills was used for training the group for more than a year and a device similar to the bomb used in the mosque attack and those found at Woolworths stores was found at Hoomer’s home. He is also the owner of the house where a victim was found kidnapped.

Hoomer’s cellphone location was linked to the mosque attack in Verulam and the three victims of extortion in the matter had had previous dealings with Hoomer – each had received a threatening SMS demanding about R1 500 000.

Hoomer and his co-accused, Mohamad Akbar‚ Ndikumana Shabani, Seiph Mohamed‚ Amani Mayani‚ Ahmed Haffejee‚ Thabit Mwenda‚ Abubakar Ali‚ Abbas Jooma‚ Mahammed Sobruin‚ and Iddy Omani applied for bail.

They face 14 charges including murder, attempted murder, arson, extortion and the violation of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act. Magistrate Irfaan Khalil postponed the case to the 24th for the defence’s replying affidavit.

It would appear that this was a criminal conspiracy that took advantage of the fear of ISIS terror to motivate victims’ compliance and to obfuscate the motive for the attacks.

Hits: 141

Durban explosive devices: Why Woolworths?

A SATAC ANALYSIS  13 July 2018
Prelude: The Verulam attacks

1. On Thursday 10 May 2018, three knife-wielding men stormed the Imam Hussain (Shia) Mosque after midday prayers and attacked Moulana Ali Nchiyane before torching the mosque’s library by throwing in a petrol bomb. Abbas Essop, a mechanic at a workshop across the road, ran into the Mosque. When Abbas intervened, the attackers. He died in hospital and became a collateral casualty in the attack‚ believed to be motivated by “extremist elements” intent on killing the resident Moulana and razing the building to the ground.

2. On the night of Sunday 13 May, a suspected bomb or Improvised Explosive Device was discovered beneath the Moulana‘s chair. Initial reports were sketchy with a poor photo made public and described the device as a PVC pipe bomb with a cellphone attached. Later the authorities described it as an Incendiary Device although the chemical composition has not been released at the time of writing. As of yet no motive for the attacks has been established and no group has claimed responsibility

The Woolworths – and Durban July – incidents

3. On Thursday 5 July an almost identical incendiary device to the Verulam one ignited amongst clothing in a Woolworths retail store 34 Km by road south of Verulam at the Durban Westville Pavilion shopping centre at approximately 01:30.

4. A few hours later yet another almost identical device ignited 22 Km by road north at the Durban Umhlanga branch of Woolworths. In both cases the damage was minimal thanks to the sprinkler system.

5. On Saturday 7 July, a very similar device was found in the cushions display at, once again, the Durban Westville Pavilion Woolworths.

6. Later that day, ljust after 10pm, officers were dispatched to Gladys Mazibuko (formerly Marriott) Road in central Durban where a “device” was found under a vehicle”.

7. Just over an hour later they were called out to the corner of Avondale and Milner Roads, central Durban, where another device was found under a car. Neither device detonated/ignited but visually were very similar to the Verulam device and the two Woolworths devices, although curiously one was painted purple.

The location of these incidents may be relevant as they were very close to the perimeter of the Grayville Race Course where that weekend the most prestigious horse race on the SA calendar, the Durban July, was in mid swing.

8. On the morning of Monday 9 July a suspicious device was reported at the Pavilion Centre in Westville. With the basement area cordoned off the police quickly determined that this was not a bomb or a hoax but a lost piece of electronics – a false alarm due to increased awareness and vigilance.

9. On the same afternoon the South African Police Services’ Explosives Unit was called to the Spar Supermarket in Austerville‚ Wentworth‚ Durban, after a ten year old boy arrived at the shop and gave a manager a brown envelope containing one live 9mm round and a handwritten letter. The letter stated that the recipient must put money inside the bag and leave it outside the supermarket otherwise a bomb will explode – and not to call the police.
The boy who delivered the letter alleged that it was given to him by unknown male to deliver. The manager took the envelope to the police station, accompanied by the boy. The police attended, cordoned off the scene and when the bomb disposal unit arrived a black plastic packet was found on the entrance near the tills containing a parcel. This was detonated under control of the bomb unit and declared a hoax.

10. On the morning of Thursday 12 July a bomb scare was phoned in to the police targeting Woolworths at Cornubia Mall in the Mount Edgecomb area of Durban. The SAPS bomb squad swept and no devices were found. The mall was reopened three hours later.

11. Less than an hour later hundreds of tenants of a 23-storey building in central Durban were evacuated following a bomb threat phoned in to a college on the seventh floor. Students due to write exams have been known to phone in bomb threats to postpone the exams if they are not prepared. The SAPS declared the call a hoax.

12. That afternoon a bomb scare was phoned in to Phoenix (Durban area again) police station – this time claiming that 3 devices had been planted. After being closed for about 2 hours the bomb squad declared the threat a hoax and the Hawks promised a swift prosecution.

Ten arson bombs, attempts or threats in seven days in a country that normally does not experience that in a year – never mind in one city. The last time we saw something like this was the PAGAD bombings and shootings of 1999/2000. And no motive or claim for responsibility. What is going on?

SATAC Analysis

The Verumam Mosque attacks are believed to be isolated religious rivalry incidents and even though the Muslim community are involved and the incidents well publicised ISIS/L remained uncharacteristically silent. Serious observers suspect no link to organised terrorism.

However, the publicity, including a photograph of the device – it did not detonate – has probably triggered a spate of copycat incidents. All of the components can be obtained in a hardware store and a cellphone shop new, without arousing suspicion for about SAR 300 (US$20) and assembled in 30 minutes.

So someone in the Durban area used the now well-known design to target Woolworths. But why?

Without a threat or demand we can rule out extortion – unless this is a test phase – or giving management a taste of what could happen.

Could it be a deranged, unhappy customer?
Or a seriously disgruntled employee or ex-employee?
Could it be a criminal distraction – diverting store security whilst stealing? If so one would expect the loss to have been detected by now as it would have to be significant to do this. Also the timing, – 01:30 in the morning – seems to eliminate this motive.
Or a bigger criminal plot – testing police response times and procedures.
Or a grand criminal plot, like the CIT heist which took place on Tugela Plaza, near Durban, on the 11th, by diverting the police to a ‘bomb’ on the other side of the city (actually there were no bomb threats that day).

At the time of writing we don’t know much:
We don’t know if the cell phones were being used as remote controls or timers.
We don’t know if the devices that had not ignited had failed or had not been triggered.
We don’t know if the rigging and formulations link these devices together or with others.
We don’t know if there were fingerprints found, CCTV recordings of use or other evidence from which we could probe the conspiracy theories.

Hopefully the authorities will help us to reduce unhelpful speculation by giving us some feedback.

Woolworths are not an elitist store but are the favourite up-market supermarket of the better-off and SA’s new, aspiring middle class. Could this be a crime of envy? This theory could be supported by the attempts to set fire to the two cars near the up-market Durban July. Remember, one of the devices was painted purple – the colour that represents royalty and privilege.

Could it be anti –Semitic? The company was founded by and until about 2010 was controlled by Jewish families – perhaps linked to recent Israili-Palestinian conflicts?

In early August 2014 a group called BDS South Africa launched the peaceful and largely ineffective #BoycotWoolworths campaign in protest to the store stocking Israeli products. And in September 2015 thousands protested in Cape Town, waving Palestinian flags near the entrance of Grand West Casino in the build-up to Grammy Award-winning artist Pharrell Williams’s concert. The protest was given the green light after BDS scored a victory when a High Court application, aimed at preventing them from getting 40 000 protesters to the event, was dismissed. Williams came under fire for collaborating with Woolworths.

But Woolworths are low profile on such issues and certainly a not political organisation. BDS give no indication of moving towards extremism and are the kind of organisation that need and want publicity, so if they were behind the attacks they would at least ‘support’ the disruption of the stores.

Would business rivals benefit from that disruption? Marginally, and not enough to justify the risk and cost of being caught. Not unless the rival was also a sociopath – not concerned with the long term consequences of his or her actions.

Or simply a person who likes to create chaos and likes to see the result of his or her ‘work’ on the TV and in social media?

Or pranksters.

The extortion attempt on afternoon of the 9th at the Spar supermarket was most probably a petty crook inspired by the previous fear, someone hoping for a quick ‘score’.

And the hoax calls on the 12th? Hopefully the police will be able to trace the calls but with no physical evidence we have nothing to suggest that they are linked to the three actual devices left at Woolworths – although if the desired effect is disruption, these calls were almost as effective as the pipe bombs.

And finally, the hoax call to the Phoenix police station? Again, using the heightened awareness and the uncertainty created by the four (including Verulam) real devices to force the police to evacuate their premises. A great win for someone who needs to prove his ‘power’ to himself – or just a prankster?

Whatever the real reasons are for these events we can be fairly sure that they are not linked to organised terrorism.

Hits: 271

SATAC ANALYSIS – THE IMAM HUSSAIN MOSQUE ATTACKS – ISIS Terrorism Or Local Fanatics?

16th May 2018

2%: The percentage of Muslims in South Africa’s 56 million people

12%: The percentage of Shia Muslims in the world

3%: The percentage of Shia Muslims amongst SA Muslims

The Events

South Africa has an almost exclusively peaceful Muslim community. So a fatal knife attack at a mosque on Thursday 10 May, on the eve of the holy month of Ramadan, came as both a shock and a surprise. Three knife-wielding men stormed the Imam Hussain (Shia denomination) Mosque after midday prayers. Once in the property‚ the men attacked Ali and Moulana Ali Nchiyane with knives before torching the mosque’s library by throwing in a petrol bomb.

(Moulana is often the word of choice for addressing or referring to Muslim religious scholars that are respected, while Mullah is used often derogatorily for people that some consider being more agitator than scholar).

The caretaker and muzzein (the man tasked with leading the call to prayer)‚ Muhammad Ali‚ had noticed the men at the gate and thinking they were coming to pray‚ let them inside.

Abbas Essop, a mechanic at a workshop across the road, ran heroically into the Imam Hussain Mosque in the small town of Ottowa near Verulam‚ north of Durban‚ (Kwa Zulu Natal Province) after three knife-wielding men had stormed the building after midday prayers. When Abbas intervened, the attackers duct-taped his mouth and slit his throat. He died in hospital and became a collateral casualty in the attack‚ believed to be motivated by “extremist elements” intent on killing the resident Moulana and razing the building to the ground.

The attackers were first described as ‘Egyptians’ but this has since been revised to ‘South Africans’. The suspects, who were wearing half balaclavas, fled in a white Hyundai Getz with no registration plates.

No demands or ultimatums were made, left or sent. The SAPS say that they searched the building after the attack but are not specific on how.

Although still under investigation by the South African Police Service Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, a.k.a. The Hawks, the attack was believed to be the culmination of a steadily rising hate campaign directed at Shias. Islam is divided into two main opposing groups, Shia and Sunni, and most South African Muslims are Sunni.

On the night of Sunday 13 May, a suspected bomb or Improvised Explosive Device was discovered beneath the Moulana‘s chair. This forced the evacuation of the Mosque in Verulam. Initial reports were sketchy with a poor photo made public and described the device as a pipe bomb with a cellphone attached. Latterly the authorities described it as an Incendiary Device although the chemical composition has not been released at the time of writing. The pipe is now described as made of PVC.

We understand that the Mosque did not have security officers present but we do not know if there was any other security such as CCTV. A review of available video and photographs do show an electrified fence topping the perimeter wall. This is a common feature on South African buildings.

An unconfirmed source stated that the attackers had visited the mosque three times prior to the attack when it was quiet, prayed, and taken literature and books. The same person stated that the mosque had been mentioned in an open letter published on the Jamiatul Ulama and other websites calling for action against Shia worshippers but SATAC has not seen a copy of this. Jamiatul Ulama is a council of South African Muslim theologians.

SATAC Analysis

Shia is a branch of Islam which holds that the Islamic prophet Muhammad designated Ali ibn Abi Talib as his successor. Sunni Islam adherents believe that Muhammad did not appoint a successor and consider Abu Bakr (who was appointed Caliph through a Shura, i.e. community consensus) to be the correct first Caliph.

Shias are considered more moderate and ‘westernised’, not supportive of extremist views. The group are a tiny minority with just a few hundred members in each Province but they are growing, with a new – only the third in SA – mosque having just opened in Cape Town.

A total, eternal ‘Manichean’ worldview is a central tenet of violent Islamic extremism. It divides the world strictly into ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’: those who are blessed or saved (i.e. the “right kind” of Muslim) on the one hand and those who are to be damned for eternity (i.e. the “wrong kind” of Muslim and everyone else) on the other. For violent Islamic extremists, the “wrong kind” of Muslim includes moderate Sunni Muslims, all Shia Muslims, and many others who are “mete for the sword” and can be killed, and anyone who associates or collaborates” with them” (UK Judge Charles Haddon-Cave).

Manichean: Of or relating to a dualistic view of the world, dividing things into either good or evil, light or dark, black or white, involving no shades of grey

1. The assault on the Moulana and the two attempts to set the Mosque ablaze seen in the context of the above strongly indicate that extremist members of the rival Sunni Muslim groups were responsible because they considered that Shias; a) are not true Muslims and so are infidels, and b) are taking their more moderate members

2. The two arson attempts may be symbolic of numerous references in the Quran to the punishment of infidels by fire, such as “It is not for such as join gods with Allah, to visit or maintain the mosques of Allah while they witness against their own souls to infidelity. The works of such bear no fruit: In Fire shall they dwell” (Surah At-Tawba, 17).

3. The device used was based on commonly available instructions and no attempt was made to disguise it. It was poorly concealed and the presence of a remote control (cellphone) may indicate that the person who was going to trigger it may have been present in the congregation and awaiting a particular moment, such as when the Moulana took his seat.

4. As the first arson attempt failed this appeared to be a hastily prepared device, in less than three days later. An explosive device would require considerably more skill, preparation and risk, indicating a lack of planning and expertise.

5. As ISIS have not claimed responsibility, as they did in the Paris lethal knife attack 4 days before and many others, it is highly unlikely that these attacks are connected to that terror group although the perpetrators could well have been inspired by recent terror events.

6. The 3 knife attackers did not shout the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” (God is greater) during the attack as is abused by organised terrorism groups. They are the opening words of the Adhan (Islamic call to prayer) and is also often used in approval in the same way Christians say “Amen”. The phrase is not found in the Koran.

7. We do not believe that the Shia community will call for retribution and will rather assist the authorities but there is always the possibility that an individual or group might feel they have a duty to react to these attacks with kind.

8. As usual SATAC calls for all communities to cooperate with the authorities to bring the criminals responsible to book.

(Free Use notice: This article may be quoted in full or part as long as the source is quoted as https://satac.co.za/public-library-free/)

Hits: 658

South Africa’s Relations with the Middle East Since 1994

A Special SATAC Member Paper – Copyright Natasha Agrizzi

 

The key concern of this paper pertains to South Africa’s relations with the Middle East. In order for this paper to effectively analyse the above-mentioned concern, the paper will be divided up into two main sections. The first section introduces the topic of foreign policy. This will discuss the concept of foreign policy in terms of its definition as well as the stakeholders in South Africa’s foreign policy, where reference will be made to the fundamental driving factors of South Africa’s foreign policy namely; i) human rights considerations; ii) ideology; iii) defense considerations; iv) public considerations; v) economics and trade; as well as vi) diplomacy. The second section of the paper links the discussion of South Africa’s foreign policy to South Africa’s relations with states in the Middle East. Here, the primary focus will be the topic of South Africa’s relations with the greater Middle Eastern region since 1994, the engagement with the Middle East and what this engagement has been about. For this section to draw on this, it must first consider the relations with the Middle East prior to 1994 under the apartheid regime as this plays a notable role in shaping relations today. From this discussion, this paper will then evaluate these relations through a broad analysis of South Africa’s relations with the Middle East and then follow with a discussion on their relations with key states such as Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel-Palestine, Saudi Arabia and Gulf States such as Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Syria and Turkey. These evaluations of the relations between these states and South Africa, will include a discussion of the driving factors of the relations as well as the issues which have occurred in that state, followed by an analysis of South Africa’s position on the issue and how this position may have been influenced.

South Africa’s Foreign Policy

In understanding South Africa’s foreign policy, it is important to first discuss the theory of foreign policy with regards to the definition as well as those who make foreign policy. This is important to understand how foreign policy plays out in South Africa’s relations and engagement with the Middle East. Foreign policy has been defined by the South African Department of Foreign Affairs (2004, 17) as “a multidimensional set of policies, principles, strategies, objectives and plans… which serve to define [South Africa’s] national values”. In addition, academics argue that foreign policy is made up of the values of the country, in which they contain the initiatives taken by the state in guiding their relations with the international community in promoting the national image of the state (Nel and Wyk 2003; Olivier 2006).

Therefore, we are able to explore who makes foreign policy in South Africa. Stakeholders in South Africa’s foreign policy include the Presidency, where Hughes (2004, 46) argues that “the Presidency gets ‘first pick’ of foreign policy issues and establishes foreign policy priorities in consultation with the officials within the presidential cluster responsible for foreign affairs, defense and trade and industry”. Parliament can also be included in this however, parliament is dependent on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) for briefings on aspects of South Africa’s foreign policy as parliament is more concerned with the domestic rather than foreign affairs (Nel and Wyk 2003). Thus, DIRCO plays an important role in that the “Minister of International Relations and Cooperation is tasked to formulate, promote, and execute South Africa’s foreign policy. The Minister assumes overall responsibility for all aspects of South Africa’s international relations in consultation with the President. The Department is the principle advisor on foreign policy” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011b, 9). Finally, other stakeholders in South Africa’s foreign policy include government departments such as the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Defense as well as the Department of Environmental affairs as well as civil society think tanks.

The history of South Africa’s foreign policy becomes important in identifying the main principles that drive South Africa’s engagement with states. The new democratic South African government declared that it had a deep commitment to a democratized foreign policy where the state’s national identity and interest had been reconstructed, thus changing its relations with the international community (Van Wyk 2004). From this, the Department of Foreign Affairs (2004, 18) declared that South Africa’s foreign policy is guided by the following principles;

  • That issues of human rights are central to international relations and an understanding that they extend beyond the political, embracing the economic, social and environmental;
  • That just and lasting solutions to the problems of humankind can only come through the promotion of democracy worldwide;
  • That considerations of justice and respect for international law should guide the relations between nations;
  • That peace is the goal for which all nations should strive, and where this breaks down, internationally agreed and non-violent mechanisms, including effective arms-control regimes, must be employed;
  • That the concerns and interests of the continent of Africa should be reflected in our foreign policy choices;
  • That economic development depends on growing regional and international economic cooperation in an interdependent world (Mandela, 1993:87; African National Congress, 1994).

Included in these changes is that where the “name of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was changed to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO). This is to reflect a greater emphasis on partnerships in South Africa’s international conduct” (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 2014, 15). Moreover, these values are fundamentally entrenched in the Bill of Responsibilities as well as in South Africa’s foreign policy where these points highlight the idea of ethical cosmopolitanism as placing an emphasis on the equality of all citizens of the world in that what the South African state wants to achieve for its people, is what it wants to achieve for the world, where decisions made are fundamentally based on the democratic values and norms (Hengari 2014).

Factors Shaping Foreign Policy:

“Drivers and trends constitute the forces that significantly influence world affairs and will therefore play an important role in determining how South Africa conducts its international relations. Successful foreign policy implementation requires that countries take into account the ever-changing environment in which they operate” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011b, 12). From this, this paper argues that the most important drivers of South Africa’s relations with the Middle East are; i) human rights considerations; ii) ideology; iii) defense considerations; iv) public participation; v) economics and trade; as well as vi) diplomacy. Thus, the principles outlined in South Africa’s foreign policy explain how South Africa’s “values serve as the motivation and driving force behind the quest of the state to maximize the national security, welfare, prestige and power in the context of domestic and international politics” (Olivier 2006, 170).

Therefore, this paper is able to discuss how these fundamental values should be at the center of South Africa’s foreign policy, in these concerns being extended to populations outside of South Africa’s borders.

Human Rights Considerations:

The end of World War II marked the emergence of the importance of human rights in the international community. In line with this, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) in Article 2, declares that “everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without any distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status”.

However, the concept of human rights has been a contested concept, in which the South African government broadly interprets it to include democracy. “Since 1994, human rights have emerged as a central pillar of South Africa’s international relations… [where] the role and status of human rights and democracy were pivotal” (Thipanyane 2011, 1). Thus, it can be argued that South Africa felt an obligation to promote human rights in the international community. Moreover, President Zuma claims that South Africa’s foreign policy is informed by the Freedom Charter, where South Africa has a commitment to building a better world (Allison 2015). The ANC argued that South Africa’s foreign relations should reflect the commitment to a democratic South Africa, while aspiring to create a more humane world for all.

However, since 1997 we see a shift in the emphasis placed on human rights, where former President Mandela refused to renounce relations with states which had violated human rights, but rather, this showed the transition of South Africa as a leader to that of a follower, where Mandela argued that those states had been accepted by the international community, therefore, South Africa should follow suit (Youla 2009). From this, under the new Presidency of Zuma, there were hopes that this would signal the shift back to human rights as emphasized in 1994, while Zuma argues that South Africa’s foreign policy remains inspired by Nelson Mandela (Allison 2015). Therefore, it can be argued that human rights do matter. However, it should not only include the human rights of the citizens of South Africa but rather, the human rights of all citizens of the world, as outlined by the idea of normative theory.

Ideology:

Ideology emerges as an important factor in driving South Africa’s foreign policy especially in its history. Here it has been argued that the historical legacies impact relations, where former President F.W. de Klerk explains that South Africa feels an obligation to those states which helped it (Jeppie 1998; Mansour 2012). Mandela supported this argument, where he declared that the past informed his foreign policy regarding the relations held with the states and the contributions they made to South Africa’s struggle (Bishku 2010). In addition to this, Mbeki made a similar statement regarding those states which supported the struggle against apartheid, where he stated that “we owe these countries and peoples a permanent debt of gratitude” (Mbeki 2001, 2). However, problems arise in theory where it has been argued that foreign policies should not have an ideological element as this undermines democracy. While South Africa’s foreign policy since Mandela has not been ideologically neutral the foreign policy of Mbeki had been more ideologically driven (Lipton 2009).

Defense Considerations:

Defense considerations play an important role in South Africa’s engagement and relations with states in the international community. Since 1994, the new democratic South Africa has emphasized negotiations as the solution to conflicts in promoting peace and security (Van Wyk 2004; Snyman 2011; Nqakula 2013). From this, the government has emphasized that dialogue should be promoted. States believe that their security is linked to the security of the international community, where states should be held accountable for their actions. Most important to this factor, which has been maintained since 1994, are Mandela’s policies of disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and arms control, where Mandela “came to be seen as a kind of embodiment of our noblest instincts for making peace” (Connolly 2013). Mbeki followed this approach in his attempts at being involved in negotiations and peace efforts despite their failures.

However, in analyzing defense considerations, it is important to consider the nature of the conflict, where the fight for resources has had a negative impact on the development of the state, which may lead to the resurgence of inter-state conflicts. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (2011b, 18) states in its foreign policy that “rapid industrialization and increasing resource demand by emerging economies are set to fuel potential conflict around access to natural resources”. Moreover, in defense, the principle of sovereignty emerges, where the League of Nations provides that states may not interfere in the domestic affairs of another state. However, when states do not adhere to international law, this sovereignty can be bypassed (Solomon 2001).

Public Participation:

Political considerations bring South Africa’s foreign policy into contestation with regards to its functionality. Here, this paper can consider the factor of public participation in foreign policy where foreign policy is seen as “the collective action taken by the citizens, either through the state or through other collective means, to respond to, and shape public policy beyond the borders of their state” (Nel and Wyk 2003, 51). However, Morgenthau (1973) disagrees with this on the basis that public participation is inherently harmful. Academics support this view where they believe that the public may not be able to make informed decisions. In contrast, since 1994, the government has been seen to be making attempts at providing an inclusive approach to foreign policy, where foreign policy should be communicated between the government and the public, although by 2002, this had not yet been achieved (Nel and Wyk 2003; Hughes 2004; Ogunnubi 2015). This is not to say that advancements have not been made, a South African foreign policy discussion document had been launched in 1996, which encouraged responses from the public. Furthermore, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (2011b, 36) stated in its foreign policy that it would “broaden the use of available technologies and platforms, especially social media networks to communicate with stakeholders on South Africa’s international relations… activities include outreach programs to bring foreign policy to the people”.

Moreover, public participation is essential to foreign policy in that it communicates South Africa’s values and interests to the international community, where citizens are seen as agents of public policy, where domestic policy is instrumental in informing foreign policy. Thus, this paper can argue that South Africa has an outdated approach to foreign policy, where the government believes global structures inform foreign policy. Nonetheless, civil society has played an important role, by providing access to resources such as information, knowledge, technology and international networks important to foreign policy discussions. Important groups in civil society include the ANC Subcommittee on foreign policy as well as COSATU and the PCAS, which “interacts with civil society on matters of policy formulation as well as with ‘international experts’ to ensure policy relevance and efficacy” (Hughes 2004, 7). Think tanks play an important role in this, the South African Institute for International Affairs (SAIIA) (1996) stresses the need for the public to become involved in the foreign policy process. Hlela (2002) argued that during the Mbeki presidency, the business community played an important role in foreign policy. In contrast, businesses are not involved in this process and they acknowledge that this is done solely by the government, although businesses do in fact have an interest in this, where competing interests are seen to play a role in allowing them to promote their interests.

Economics and Trade:

Trade continues to play an increasingly important role in South Africa’s engagement with states in the international community. This relates to South Africa’s commitment to development. Here, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (2011b) has argued that the integration of South Africa’s economy into the world economy has allowed South Africa to benefit from diversification. The importance of trade relations can be understood as the achievement of goals which demands “the implementation of strategies geared to taking maximum advantage of South Africa’s strengths in the global and regional economies. In the global arena, this amounted to securing access to economic resources and arguing for preferential trade and investment/ aid terms” (Youla 2009, 55). In light of this argument, at the foreign affairs Portfolio Committee of Parliament in 1995, former Minister Nzo stated;

 “The promotion of economic development of the Southern African Region is of paramount importance as the economies of the countries in the region are intertwined to such an extent that, for South Africa to believe that it could enter a prosperous future in isolation without taking neighbouring countries with her, would be unrealistic and hazardous” (South African Government, 1995).

On average, South Africa’s total oil consumption since 1994 has increased by 2% per annum, this can be related to the increase in the transportation and mining sectors of the South African economy, leading to an increased dependence on external economies (Wabiri 2011). This dependence on external sources is significant to South Africa in that it imports the largest amount of its oil from the Middle East, which poses numerous risks to South Africa. In South Africa, the petrol price is linked to the price of crude oil in international markets, where stability in the Middle East is necessary to ensure a stable supply of oil at stable prices. Conflict in oil producing states increases the price of oil which becomes detrimental to the development of South Africa. This had been seen in the shock to the terms of trade since 1994, which were “estimated to be as much as -2.7% of GDP, with serious impacts on poverty reduction prospects” (Mbeki 2005). In addition to trade, economics should be included in this discussion where “economic diplomacy is a strategic priority in South Africa’s foreign policy. This sees the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) playing a key role in supporting South Africa’s international economic and commercial engagement” (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 2014, 25). In addition, the SACOB has an international affairs office which establishes relations with other states on matters of imports, exports and trade policies. By 2009, 49 bilateral investment treaties had been signed but not all were entered into operation (Schlemmer 2016). Here we see the increasing need for South Africa to strengthen these relations through exports and investments. Former deputy Minister Ebrahim (2011, 4) argued that South Africa’s exports to the Middle East “comprises higher value added products, which in turn supports our industrial development and employment objectives”.

Diplomacy:

In the new democratic government’s reintegration into the international community it had established 124 new diplomatic missions by 1996 and gained membership to 45 international organisations. In line with South Africa’s defense considerations, emphasis has been placed on multilateralism as a means of addressing conflict in the international community. South Africa has been involved in international organisations such as the Commonwealth between 2000 and 2001, the Non-Aligned Movement between 1998 to 2001, the Organisation of the African Union in 2002, the United Nations and the UN Security Council, where it had been elected to a non-permanent seat between 2007 and 2008 as well as between 2011 and 2012. The importance of multilateralism to South Africa emerged with the realization that it could not act in isolation to achieve its goals, thus using these organisations to have an impact in the international community. South Africa therefore used the African Union as a means to do this, where Mbeki played a leading role in the AU. However, it should be noted that this has implications for foreign policy where its formulation should take into account the views of member countries, although most members of the AU share similar views (Fakude 2016a). Moreover, South Africa is argued to have placed a greater emphasis on multilateralism while neglecting bilateral relationships despite the attempts of DIRCO in promoting the national interests through bilateral and multilateral interactions. Thus, bilateral relations should be strengthened by engagements in pursuit of national interests. By 2003, South Africa had 139 foreign representatives in South Africa and there were 177 foreign representatives abroad. Moreover, South Africa has signed numerous treaties although not all have been entered into force, as these treaties are only binding on the South African state if parliament has agreed to the ratification or accession to these agreements. In addition, these treaties must be consistent with the constitution.

Shifts and Changes in Foreign Policy:

From the discussion of the main factors constituting the driving forces behind South Africa’s foreign policy, we are able to note the fundamental shifts and changes in which less emphasis was placed on certain factors. Most notably, Mandela’s foreign policy had been based on South Africa first, while Mbeki’s foreign policy had placed Africa first. With Zuma’s foreign policy however, it becomes difficult to find a pattern in his policies. This becomes evident by 2004 in analyzing South Africa’s identity. Here, this paper can discuss these changes. Mandela focused on re-establishing South Africa into the international community, “to influence world politics, to help ensure the world is more secure, peaceful, democratic, humane” (Youla 2009, 37). Mbeki had a commitment to establishing a new identity, reflecting and exploiting the leverage of South Africa’s new prestige in world politics, placing a greater emphasis on the national interest (Olivier 2006; Jordaan 2008). In more recent times, it can be argued that President Zuma does not have a focused foreign policy, which leads to perceptions that the “government is moving further from the position established by Mandela” (Thipanyane 2011, 5).

South Africa’s Relations with The Middle East

The primary focus of this research paper relates to the topic of South Africa’s relations with the greater Middle Eastern region since 1994, its engagement with the Middle East, and what this engagement has been about. For this section to draw on this, it first considers the relations with the Middle East prior to 1994, under the apartheid regime as this plays a notable role in shaping relations today. From this discussion, this paper is then able to evaluate these relations through a broad analysis of South Africa’s relations with the Middle East and then follow with a discussion on their relations with key states such as; Egypt; Iran; Iraq; Israel-Palestine; Saudi Arabia and Gulf states such as Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates; as well as Syria and Turkey. Included in these evaluations of the relations between these states and South Africa, each will discuss the driving factors of the relations as well as the issues which have occurred in that state, followed by an analysis of South Africa’s position on the issue and how this position may have been influenced.

In fully analyzing South Africa’s relations with the broader Middle Eastern region, this paper cannot neglect the history of these relations as they become imperative to understanding the relations after 1994. This is important because to a large extent these relations formed new ground to the new South African government as the apartheid Government did not have relations with the Middle East. Mills and Baynham (1994, 13) provide an analysis that prior to 1945, South Africa had significant status in both the British Commonwealth and in the League of Nations, where South Africa played an important role in the international community. However, this changed as a result of the policies of the apartheid government towards its citizens. Apartheid South Africa began to see itself faced with sanctions from the international community, where it had to fight destabilization and isolation (Olivier 2006; Youla 2009). With the first democratically elected government in 1994, we begin to see the shift away from a pro-western foreign policy towards the creation of a pragmatic and principled South African foreign policy, where South Africa reemerged into the international community. Therefore, this paper is able to consider South Africa’s relations with the Middle East since 1994.

The above discussion pointed out that prior to 1994, South Africa faced isolation from the international community, while the first democratic elections in 1994 with the African National Congress (ANC) effectively assuming power, saw this global isolation come to an end. South Africa’s foreign policy and position in the international community had been restructured, with states eager to enter into relations with South Africa. This lead to new relations being established between South Africa and the Middle East, where South Africa sought a breakthrough in the Middle East crisis. However, this region had been met with hostility, where it had not been a priority in the minds of some (Jeppie 1998). Former Democratic Alliance leader, Tony Leon, stated that there exists “the danger of importing the problems of the Middle East into South Africa and thereby bringing to the surface this simmering religious and ethnic tensions that emerge whenever the Middle Eastern question is discussed in our country” (Da Costa 2006). In contrast to this, South Africa’s foreign policy declares that’s it “foreign policy in the Middle East will have to take cognizance of changing and complex regional dynamics as well as competing interests of major powers. Political developments in the region continue to have a major impact on the global economy especially with reference to energy price stability and supplies” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011b, 30). Moreover, in support of this, there are groups such as the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) as well as the South African Communist Party (SACP), who advocate for a higher degree of engagement with the Middle East (Hughes 2004). Thus, the importance of the Middle East to South Africa cannot be underestimated.

As discussed elsewhere in this paper, South Africa places and emphasis on both North-South and South-South Cooperation, this emphasizing the importance of global partnerships (Nqakula 2013). The democratic government of South Africa shares an ideologically important relationship with the Middle East and the Arab world. This relationship had been established through Arab support in the anti-apartheid movement which grew out of shared struggles. A mutual relationship where “Arab State’s provided material and financial backing, as well as military training for ANC fighters… and on many occasions [former President Nelson Mandela visited] several Arab countries after his released from prison to personally give thanks” (Nashashibi 2014). This lead to post-apartheid South Africa establishing relations with the Middle East, in which it would share its experiences in order to move towards establishing peace and security in the Middle East. The most obvious importance that the Middle East has to South Africa is that of its dependence on oil. Although this is true, it cannot be said to be the sole factor on which these relations have been based. Rather, as summed up by former Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim (2011,5);

 “These regions remain critical to South Africa in terms of our historical connections; our commitment to advance international peace and security; for being a major source of our oil supply; and of course offering significant opportunities for tourism and Foreign Direct Investment attraction, in particular sovereign wealth funds. On top of what we have been doing, we nevertheless need to continue conducting an analysis of our trade and investment engagements in the Middle East and North Africa, and finally develop a more focused and strategic economic approach under the circumstances”

Relations with the Middle East are fundamental to South Africa’s aspirations of a better South Africa for its citizens, where South Africa plans to maintain its presence in the region but has taken an approach based on maintaining relations with states with which it wants to build, both economic and political strategic partnerships (Xolela 2009). This discussion should however consider a negative view of South Africa’s engagement with the Middle East where diplomacy and negotiation form an important aspect of South Africa’s foreign policy. In this, South Africa advocates for the importance of the United Nations (UN) as a body for conflict resolution in the Middle East (Jordaan 2008). However, scholars argue that this engagement has failed to show consistency (Snyman 2011).

This broad discussion of South Africa’s relations with the greater Middle Eastern region has provided an insight which can be used along with the discussion from the first part of this paper, in order to analyze South Africa’s relations with each state. It is in the following sections where this paper explores how a shift can be seen in South Africa’s foreign policy moving away from 1994, emphasizing and being committed to promoting human rights and democracy. While this hasn’t necessarily applied to the Middle East, where democracy has hardly been the dominant political system, we see the move towards economic and trade relations.

It is important to note South Africa’s role in the international community, where it had a middle power status driven by an “inordinate desire, firstly, for orderliness, security and predictability in international relations; and secondly, to perform certain morally inspired “good works” in the international system” (Jordaan 2008, 549). Furthermore, it can be argued that South Africa’s commitment to the Middle East had been driven by the importance of achieving “universal human rights and national self-determination” (Hughes 2004, 163).

South Africa’s Relations with Egypt:

South Africa’s relations with Egypt ended in 1960 and were reestablished in 1994 with the new democratic government of South Africa. Improvements in these relations have been underlined by numerous factors, namely the establishment of embassies in each country as well as the First Annual Joint Bilateral Commission meeting in 1996, where nine sessions had taken place by 2016 with the signing of several agreements. South Africa and Egypt share the commitment to strengthening bilateral relations. This had been seen in 2005 where Mbeki congratulated President Hosni Mubarak on his electoral victory and later in 2008 Mubarak paid his first state visit to South Africa to attend a meeting on strengthening bilateral political, economic and trade relations (Department of Foreign Affairs 2009). President Zuma then visited Egypt in 2010 and in 2015. Furthermore, these states plan to better trade relations with the removal of trade barriers, while Egypt in North Africa is South Africa’s third largest trading partner in the region (Department of Foreign Affairs 2009; Hughes 2004). Included in these trade relations, the South African Revenue Services (2017) provides trade data between South Africa and Egypt, which reflects trade in favour of South Africa. This data shows that exports to Egypt saw a decline between 2010 and 2011 but faced a steady increase from 2012, where exports to Egypt consist mainly of mineral products and machinery, and imports from Egypt in chemicals, mineral products and machinery. It is important to consider the significance of these relations between the two states, which is argued to be from the fact that these states have the largest economies on the continent, whereby it is of strategic importance for these states to cooperate (Mbeki and Mubarak 2008).

Arab Spring:

The Arab Spring began on the 18th of December 2010, as a movement by the citizens against the ruling regime, in demand for basic human rights. The youth played an important role in this where autocratic rule, deprivation, corruption, economic marginality and political exclusion left the youth wanting change (Snyman 2011; Mansour 2012). This conflict poses a threat to the stability of the international community, as was seen when the movement spread to other states in the region. Unfortunately, the Egyptian government retaliated to these protests by using military force. In addition, Egypt as a “close ally of the U.S. in the region, has come under no detailed international media scrutiny for its human rights record or its brand of democracy” (Jeppie 1998, 1).

South Africa’s Position:

In analyzing the relations between South Africa and Egypt, it is important to note the role that human rights have played in this engagement which can be seen through the Arab Spring. As discussed in the first section of this paper, South Africa emphasizes human rights and democracy, where democracy “favours the growth of the state’s internal resources; it extends comforts and develops public spirit [and] strengthens respect for law in the various classes of society” (Nel and Wyk 2003, 52). Moreover, both South Africa and Egypt are members of the African Union, where multilateralism plays an important role between the two states. However, with regards to the Arab Spring, South Africa made little attempts to reach out to Egypt. This can be seen as principles continued from Mandela and Mbeki. “Mandela favoured the promotion of peaceful change by negotiation, without involving the Armed Forces” (Barber 2005, 1085). While Mbeki’s policy saw “non-interference in the domestic affairs of other African states, even in cases of serious transgression of human rights [as] an important strategic and tactical dimension” (Olivier 2006, 179). Under President Zuma, we see a trend of following the international community, where he advocated for the resignation of Mubarak. Former Minister Ebrahim (2011, 8) acknowledged that the causes of the Arab Spring would not easily be resolved and would require efforts from the international community. Despite this, he stated that “we are encouraged by Egypt’s announcement that it will hold parliamentary elections in September 2011 followed by presidential elections in November 2011. South Africa will support the Egyptian people and the government as they continue to lead the country towards a fully-fledged democracy”. Therefore, it can be argued that the Arab Spring provided an opportunity for South Africa to react to its foreign policy goals, which it failed to do.

South Africa’s Relations with Iran:

Historically South Africa and Iran have maintained good relations with one another, with the Iranian government supporting the movement against apartheid in South Africa. Mandela visited Iran in 1992, where he stated that “we are here to thank the Iranian government and nation for their support in the black people’s struggle against apartheid” (Leverett and Leverett 2013). The support that Iran provided to South Africa has been argued by academics to be a driving factor in the relations (Bishku 2010; Ebrahim 2011; Seokolo 2015; Fakude 2016b).

With the new democratic government in 1994, hostile relations between two countries had ended with the removal of trade and economic sanctions. Fundamentally under Mandela, “Iran was desirous of establishing diplomatic relations with South Africa” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2016b). Relations between the two countries had been mutual where Mandela had been dismissive of efforts by states in the international community to persuade him to turn away from Iran. These relations included Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and in 1997, South Africa “discussed selling enrichment expertise from its own nuclear program to Iran” (Fakude 2016b, 4–5). A Joint Commission was established between the two states in 1995 in order to facilitate cooperation, review existing bilateral relations and find ways of improving these relations where South Africa and Iran agreed to meet biannually. This Joint Bilateral Commission with “Iran is the longest running structural bilateral mechanism that South Africa has with any country” (Seokolo 2015, 69).

Additionally, both South Africa and Iran are part of the Non-Aligned Movement. South Africa and Iran, since 1995, have signed 18 agreements between one another. Important to these relations are trade agreements. Relations with Iran can be attributed to Iran’s abundance in resources, namely gas and oil. These trade relations are in favor of Iran as a major exporter of oil to South Africa while South Africa exports sugar to Iran. It is important to note that since 2014, trade has been in favour of South Africa, where South African exports to Iran include iron and steel, machinery, mineral products as well as chemicals, while imports from Iran include mineral products, chemicals, machinery as well as vegetables. However, despite the increase in exports, they have not yet returned to their highest trade amount seen in 2010 of R960 million, where 2016 saw a total of R326 million (South African Revenue Services 2017).

Furthermore, “in 2003, Iran invested R75 Million in a housing project at Atlantis in the Western Cape” (Hughes 2004, 172). Following trade relations, South Africa and Iran share important economic relations where “South Africa has increased business investments across several sectors in Iran. SASOL… made significant investments in Iran and established a joint venture, Ayra SASOL, with the Iranian International Petrochemical company… South African telecommunications giant MTN has large interests in the Iranian market. MTN owns [49%] of Irancell (Fakude 2016b, 5).

Iranian Nuclear Deal:

Since 2003, there have been increasing concerns in the international community over Iran’s nuclear capabilities. This led to economic sanctions being imposed on Iran to pressure the government into abandoning its nuclear aspirations regarding uranium enrichment. These sanctions isolated Iran from the international community which included the ban on Iran’s imports of oil in the European Union. As a result of these sanctions, Iran was forced to enter into negotiations which led to the agreement of the nuclear deal. However, “the deal which the… (P5+1) concluded last year to lift sanctions against Iran in exchange for it disabling its nuclear weapons program has [created fear]… and that the deal has given [Iran] a freer hand not only to continue developing nuclear weapons more clandestinely but also to pursue its other hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East, including through sponsoring proxies in other countries” (Fabricius 2016). In contrast, Iran maintains its position that they have no intentions of developing nuclear weapons, that doing so would be un-Islamic. Furthermore, officials of the Atomic Energy Commission denied that Iran had been interested in purchasing materials and equipment necessary for making nuclear weapons (Jeppie 1998). This has led to the arguments by Iran that there exists ‘nuclear apartheid’ in the world, where some states are allowed nuclear weapons while others are not.

South Africa’s Position on the Nuclear Deal.

From the above, it is important to consider South Africa’s position on the concerns that the international community have about Iran’s nuclear intensions regarding the nuclear deal. Important to this is South Africa’s history in giving up its nuclear weapons with the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (UNIAEA) confirming its destruction of nuclear weapons and South Africa drafted a policy on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In addition to South Africa’s commitment to the NPT, Jordaan (2008, 552) provides an insight to South Africa’s relevance to this where;

 South Africa’s involvement in the crisis stemmed from its occupation of a number of important positions in multilateral institutions concerned with finding a solution to the conflict: non-permanent member of the UNSC (2007–08), member of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s (IAEA) board of governors, and leader of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to which Iran also belongs.

 However, academics have argued that South Africa has an unnecessary involvement in this conflict which has no credible concerns to South Africa (Xolela 2009). Despite arguments that the region is not important to South Africa, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (2011b, 26) declares;

South Africa remains committed to disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control, as well as being a responsible producer, possessor and trader of advanced nuclear technologies. It supports the inalienable right of nations to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Based on the Pelindaba Treaty, South Africa continues to support Africa as a nuclear weapons free zone.

 It should be noted that South Africa’s involvement in this has not been without challenges. The international community has become increasingly frustrated by South Africa’s position regarding Iran, where this position contrasts with those of its allies. Important to this, is the African Union (AU) where, Fakude (2016a, 2) has argued;

 South Africa’s foreign policy tends to mirror the political positions of the African Union (AU). One key area of divergence, however, is South Africa’s strong relations with Iran. In recent years, South Africa has set itself apart from many other AU members by siding with Iran on key international votes at the United Nations Security Council and within the International Atomic Energy Agency.

 South Africa’s position on Iran has not followed its decades long strategy of neutrality. Rather, it showed its commitment to the global South. Notably, South Africa has maintained its position on Iran, where it defends Iran’s right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy as outlined by the NPT, where this should apply to all nations rather than prohibiting a few (Mbeki 2008; Jordaan 2008; Nqakula 2013; Leverett and Leverett 2013). However, in this position South Africa has been clear in that it does not condone Iran developing nuclear weapons, and has emphasized the need for Iran to comply with the IAEA. South Africa voted for UN sanctions on Iran but claimed it had done so mistakenly where its intension was to vote against the sanctions (Gulliver 2011). This paper can argue that South Africa’s position on Iran is strategic to achieving its own national interests. Iran is important to South Africa because it provides it with cheap oil, which is essential to South Africa’s development. Moreover, South Africa has an economic interest in Iran through MTN, therefore, these investments would need to be protected. While the sanctions affect South Africa through disrupting Iran’s ability to supply it with oil.

South Africa’s Relations with Iraq:

Relations between South Africa and Iraq where established in August 1998. Later, South African visits to Iraq took place in 1999 and 2001, to discuss bilateral relations. Furthermore, in 2009, trade relations were significant where “South African exports to Iraq came to R1 billion with South Africa importing goods from [Iraq] totaling R1,55 billion” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011b, 321).

Moreover, the South African Revenue Services provides trade data where this paper can note that since 2011, trade has primarily been in favour of South Africa, excluding the periods of 2014 and 2015, which saw greater imports from Iraq. South Africa has been a major exporter of aircrafts and vessels as well as iron and steel to Iraq, while Iraq exports aircrafts, vessels and mineral products to South Africa. However, South African exports to Iraq saw a major decline between 2011 and 2012, while imports from Iraq decreased between 2011 and 2012 as well as in 2015 to 2016.

Iraq War:

The Iraq invasion of 2003 had been undertaken by states in the international community, primarily the United States, based on the argument that Saddam Hussein had been in the process of developing weapons of mass destruction. Thus, the U.S. wanted Hussein to leave Iraq and when he failed to do so by going into hiding, the U.S. began launching missiles on Iraq on 20 March 2003. The U.S. had captured Iraq’s major cities and toppled the regime. It is important to note that during the invasion, no weapons of mass destruction had been found. However, following the collapse of the regime, the state erupted into chaos with government institutions being attacked.

South Africa’s Position:

“Despite [Iraq’s] geographic distance and commercial insignificance to South Africa, the country’s high profile stance on the Iraq war underscored a number of key policy principles and challenges” (Hughes 2004, 177). South Africa placed importance on multilateralism regarding the Iraq war, namely the Non-Aligned Movement, in which Hughes (2004, 177-178) argues;

South Africa’s approach to the Iraqi crisis has been strongly informed by its chairing of the NAM from 1998 until February 2003… South Africa assumed the chair of the AU in July 2002, adding further responsibility to its multilateral commitments, particularly in relation to the strengthening of Afro–Arab relations.

In dealing with the case of Iraq, the NAM (of which Iraq is a member of the 116-strong movement), had adopted a position in strict conformity with UN Security Council resolutions and one that increasingly expressed concern over both the unmandated military activity in Iraq (such as the imposition of ‘no fly zones’) and the humanitarian consequences of comprehensive sanctions.

 Most notably, it was Mandela who spoke out against the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, openly accusing them of committing a grave mistake (Leverett and Leverett 2013; Nashashibi 2014; Hughes 2004). It was argued that both the U.S. and South Africa wanted Iraqi self-government. Important in South Africa’s position on the Iraq war was its historical experience with weapons of mass destruction, which provided it with the opportunity of assisting Iraq in the destruction of these weapons where “South Africa had been involved in the clearing of 10 million square miles of landmines and unexploded ordnance from previous wars prior to the March 2003 invasion” (Hughes 2004, 177). Of further importance to South Africa’s position was the role of civil society who had been against the invasion.

South Africa’s Relations with Israel – Palestine:

Historically, Israel had close ties to the apartheid government where, “Israel was the most significant arms supplier to that regime throughout the 1980s and served as a lifeline for the apartheid government during a period when Pretoria faced growing international condemnation and heightened domestic unrest” (Leverett and Leverett 2013). Due to these historical ties to the apartheid government, relations with Israel have been complicated. Former Minister Nzo visited Israel in 1995, where a Joint Commission of Cooperation had been established and in 1996 five bilateral agreements had been negotiated. Although both countries maintained embassies, it is important to note that in 2004, the Israeli trade office was closed, showing that there had been no priority to trade with South Africa, while Israel had been South Africa’s largest trading partner in the region. By 1998, trade with Israel had been estimated at $550 million per annum (Jeppie 1998). Trade between the two countries has been in favour of South Africa, with more exports to Israel, in 2009, “South Africa’s exports to Israel totaled R4,804 billion… while imported goods from Israel amounted to R2,105 billion” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011a, 332). Here, South Africa’s exports to Israel consist of precious metals and mineral products, while its imports from Israel are mainly in chemicals and machinery.

In addition to this, Israel has contributed to South Africa’s development through farming projects estimated at R2.5 million (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2013). Despite these trade relations, tension remains between the two countries. In attempts to better these relations Israel “established educational programmes to assist black South Africans” (Hughes 2004, 152), but Mandela would only establish better relations with Israel if they changed their attitude towards Palestinians. However, Israeli Ambassador to South Africa, Arthur Lenk (2017) argues that relations between the two states have been good which has been reflected by the tourism rates between South Africa and Israel.

Formal relations between South Africa and Palestine had been established in 1995, although strong ties had existed prior to this. These ties emerged with support from the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in the struggle against the apartheid government. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nzo visited Palestine in 1995, where a Joint Commission of Cooperation had been established regarding bilateral relations in diplomacy, education and health. Moreover, South Africa established a satellite office in Gaza, while Palestine has an embassy in Pretoria which is directly funded by South Africa. It is through this that South Africa is able to interact with Palestine. “By 2002 South Africa had donated R4 million via the Palestinian embassy to assist civil society and deliver medical aid” (Hughes 2004, 159). In addition, between 2010 and 2014, South Africa had been an exporter to Palestine, primarily in chemicals and prepared foodstuffs, while South Africa only imported vegetables in 2014 pushing trade in favour of Palestine for the 2014 period.

Included in the ties between South Africa and Palestine was the “warmth between Arafat and Mandela that underlie the political link between them” (Connolly 2013). In 2006, President Abbas paid a state visit to South Africa to “consolidate the excellent relations and deep friendship between the peoples of Palestine and South Africa” (Mbeki 2006). With regular contact between the two governments, Mbeki (2006) emphasized these relations by comparing the situation in Palestine to apartheid South Africa where he stated that “for many decades both our people have occupied the same trenches and shared similar experiences and anxieties in our quest for freedom and independence. Naturally the people of South Africa follow events in Palestine passionately because of this close bond of friendship and comradeship”.

Israeli – Palestinian Conflict:

Palestinian territories include the West bank and the Gaza Strip, while Israel controls the rest of the territory and declared itself an independent state in 1948. This has led to the conflict where both sides believe that they are entitled to the whole territory. This conflict has continued for decades despite attempts by the international community to find a solution. More recently in 2003, a roadmap was established which aimed to pave the way towards a viable Palestinian state, however, neither side has fulfilled its commitments laid out in the roadmap. Fundamentally, this aimed to end Israel’s occupation and settlements in Palestinian territories. This conflict has impacted Palestinian self-determination, which continues to fuel the conflict. Moreover, issues between Israel and Palestine have increased further with Egypt’s involvement in flooding tunnels in Gaza.

South Africa’s Position on Israeli – Palestinian Conflict:

From the above discussion of the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, this section analyzes South Africa’s position, where the factor of ideology plays a major role in shaping this position which is guided by a principle of ‘even-handedness’ (Jordaan 2008), as well as the importance of public participation and multilateralism. We see the factor of ideology emerging where the Palestinians have enjoyed the support from South Africa through Mandela’s blessing although, it has not been one-sided. Mandela’s “heart lay with the Palestinians as a people but he remembered fondly the many individual members of South Africa’s Jewish community who helped him in is hard early years” (Connolly 2013). Together with ideology, human rights informed this position from South Africa’s foreign policy centered on human rights. In 2005, South Africa sent a mission to Palestine to observe the Presidential elections. Moreover, “peace and security for the Israelis and the Palestinians cannot be achieved without the fulfillment of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination within their own sovereign state” (Department of Foreign Affairs 2006, 304).

Another factor important to this discussion is the role of public participation with regards to civil society and political parties. In civil society, this is made possible through South Africa’s diverse population including both Jewish and Muslim groups. Here, the Jewish Board of Deputies (JBD), along with the South African Zionist Federation, advocates the Israeli cause opposing anti-Israeli positions. In contrast, the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) supports the Palestinian cause and actively speaks out against Israel and South Africa’s relations with Israel. Political parties continue to advocate for the Palestinian cause against Israel. Important groups in this include the ANC Youth League and COSATU, where the former president of COSATU, Madisha, led a march requesting the Israeli ambassador to return to Israel and for the South African government to impose sanctions on Israel and cut ties with the country (Da Costa 2006). In opposition to this, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has been seen to side with Israel, where former leader Leon criticized COSATU for these requests and accused South Africa’s media of being biased in favour of Palestine. This had been supported by Ambassador Lenk (2017), who argues that South Africa’s media towards Israel can be seen as biased in favour of Palestine, although different areas portray different views, in this, Pretoria’s newspapers generally support positive relations whilst other news sources publish primarily negative relations between the two states. However, “the degree to which [these positions]… informs government policy is impossible to measure” (Hughes 2004, 164).

Finally, this paper considers how diplomacy and multilateral systems impact South Africa’s position, where the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (2016a, 292) has declared;

 The South African Government continues to play a role on its own, through the AU and with other partners internationally to advance peaceful negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis aimed at encouraging both sides to partake in direct talks that will lead to a permanent resolution of that conflict.

 Furthermore, South Africa’s leading role in the NAM shows its commitment to multilateralism, where the NAM is critical of Israel, with South Africa using this to express its solidarity with Palestine. However, this emphasis is distinct from South Africa’s foreign policy on bilateral relations. While BRICS countries are generally more sympathetic towards Palestine, South Africa should be open to a foreign policy based on trade and the development of the state, where the foreign policy doesn’t necessarily need to be based on friendships with states (Lenk 2017)

From the above discussion, it is important to note that South Africa has remained committed to its continued position on the Israeli – Palestinian conflict. “South Africa supports international efforts aimed at the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side in peace with Israel within internationally recognized borders, based on those existing on 4 June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2016a, 292–93). Thus, South Africa supports a two-state solution, where the Palestinian people are able to achieve freedom and independence, with the end to Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territories. In line with its position on the conflict, South Africa has and aspires to play a greater role in finding a solution to the conflict.

South Africa’s Relations with Saudi Arabia and Gulf States:

Formal relations between South Africa and Saudi Arabia were established in November 1994. Later in 1999, a Joint Commission had been established regarding bilateral political and economic relations, specifically focused on trade and investment where seven meetings have taken place to date. In considering trade as the driver of relations between South Africa and Saudi Arabia, these relations date back to 1994 where “prior to this, trade with Saudi Arabia was conducted through third countries by the South African Muslim population” (Hughes 2004, 173). These trade relations have been based on crude oil, where Saudi Arabia is South Africa’s second largest trading partner in the region with crude oil imports constituting an average of 52% of its total imports. “Total trade with Saudi Arabia in 2009 amounted to R29,152 billion, of which imports from that county were R26,651 billion while South African exports were R2,502 billion” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011a, 320). Furthermore, Saudi Arabia is “useful for buying our arms… Apart from arms, it seems that South Africa is unable to supply its partners with much else of similar value” (Jeppie 1998). These arms included Denel’s G6s, which took eight years for Saudi Arabia to purchase. Furthermore, trade relations have fundamentally been in favour of Saudi Arabia, where South Africa has relied on importing mineral products while only exporting vegetables, iron and steel to Saudi Arabia.

State visits to Saudi Arabia are common in securing interests. South Africa saw Saudi Arabia as a strategic partner with common membership in the G20. Saudi Arabia in the past has had good relations with the ANC government and Mandela. More recently, under Zuma, relations saw an expansion in 2016 with a state visit resulting in trade and investment agreements between the two states. Included in these relations under Zuma, “the two countries have agreed to work to ensure closer bilateral intelligence cooperation, in particular in relation to the regional terrorism threat to domestic and regional security and stability” (SA News 2016).

South Africa’s foreign policy towards the gulf states is substantially orientated towards the projection, development and strengthening of the country’s commercial and economic interests. This section will consider the Gulf States of Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, with regards to their relations with South Africa and the factors that drive these relations such as trade, development and multilateralism, where trade with the Gulf states has remained an important factor as argued by Hughes (2004, 168);

 Trade between South Africa and the region exceeds R35 billion, accounting for some 7.5% of the country’s total international trade. South Africa runs a vast trade deficit with the region, however, due to its petroleum imports. The South African arms manufacturer Denel (and previously Armscor) had successfully sold self-propelled howitzer guns to the Gulf states, even prior to 1994.

 South Africa’s foreign policy emphasizes the importance of relations which will create development, this is made possible through this region where South Africa’s foreign policy, as outlined by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (2011b, 31) advocates that;

 The growing population and oil wealth offer South Africa opportunities, particularly in agro-processing, construction and civil engineering, engineering technologies in gas to liquid energy production, and its advanced service sector. South Africa should continue to source investments from the Gulf region’s Sovereign Wealth Funds as well as private investors, including in support of continental initiatives such as NEPAD projects.

 Furthermore, relations with the Gulf are maintained through multilateral systems such as the Non-Aligned Movement, with Gulf states as members and South Africa playing a leading role.

South Africa and Kuwait established relations in 1995, later by 1998 both countries had established embassies followed by a Bilateral Consultation agreement in 2000. During a ceremony, Mbeki (2008) mentioned that relations between the two countries should be strengthened, but that no tensions exist between them. Important to their relations is trade, which favours Kuwait as a supplier of fuel to South Africa. However, in 2009, South Africa’s exports amounted to R839 million, while its imports were only R197 million (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011a, 320). Furthermore, relations between South Africa and Kuwait have remained relatively beneficial for both states, where trade had been in favour of Kuwait for the periods of 2010, 2014 and 2015, where as it had been in favour of South Africa for the periods of 2011, 2012, 2013 as well as 2016. South Africa exports mainly vegetables, iron and steel, while it imports mineral products and chemicals from Kuwait.

Moreover, Kuwait contributes significantly to the development of South Africa through a soft loan and its investments on the JSE as well as in investments in construction and development (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2010).

Relations between South Africa and Oman were established in 1995 with the signing of bilateral agreements, primarily in cooperation regarding defense. Trade relations remain important, where South Africa aims to expand trade and investment with Oman following trade in 2009 where South Africa’s imports totaled R1 billion while its exports were R246 million (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011a). In addition, trade relations have been in favour of Oman where South Africa has shown reliance on importing its mineral products.

Relations between South Africa and Qatar were established in 1994 where both countries later opened embassies in 2003 and bilateral relations exist between the two. South Africa has engaged in continuous attempts to improve relations with Qatar. This had been undertaken by Mbeki in 2008, while in 2009 bilateral consultations were held. Moreover, in 2016, “President Zuma… [visited] Qatar to strengthen and elevate bilateral relations… and critical aspects related to global and regional security and stability” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2016a, 291–92). Trade relations between the two countries are important in that the “natural gas and oil rich state of Qatar holds substantial economic significance for South Africa. Sasol Synfuels has concluded an US$800 million agreement with Qatar for the construction of gas-to-liquids plant in which Sasol holds a 49% share” (Hughes 2004, 176). Trade relations have favoured Qatar where in 2009, South Africa imported a total of R772 million while only exporting a total of R224 million (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011a). Trade relations between South Africa and Qatar consist of South African exports in machinery, vegetables, chemicals, aircrafts and vessels, iron and steel as well as mineral products, while imports to South Africa consist of chemicals and mineral products. In addition to these trade relations, Qatar supports South Africa’s development as seen through its relations with Sasol.

Formal relations between South Africa and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) were established in 1995 along with bilateral agreements which provide the framework for cooperation. Trade relations between the two countries include those in which “South Africa remains an important source of goods for the [UAE]. We export Metals [and] Base Metals, Aluminum, Fresh Produce, Diamonds, Construction Related Materials, Machinery, Mechanical Appliances and Prepared Foodstuffs to the UAE. Our trade is valued at $3 billion (approximately R30 billion)” (Department of Trade and Investment 2017). Thus, it can be argued that South Africa and the UAE enjoy mutual trade relations, although trade tends to be beneficial towards South Africa despite the fact that South Africa spends a large portion of its trade with the UAE on mineral products.

Moreover, we see the advancement of development through the high number of South Africans working in the UAE. Furthermore, South Africa participated in the Defense Exhibition, held in Dubai in February 2005, which included the South African-manufactured Rooivalk combat helicopter (Department of Foreign Affairs 2006).

Women’s Rights:

Most important in this region of the Middle East is the factor of human rights, particularly the Western narrative of women’s rights and democracy. Therefore, this paper notes various cases where until recently these rights had not been protected. Here, the principle of human rights includes democracy. This becomes important in both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In 2005, Qatar saw its first written constitution come into effect, this following a conference on human rights in 2004. Furthermore, prior to 2006, the formation of trade unions in the UAE had been prohibited. However, the notion of human rights should be evaluated through cases in Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948) in Article 4 states that no person “shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery… shall be prohibited in all forms”. Qatar however, is believed to have modern slavery and forced labour. This has been due to the demand for cheap labour to build infrastructure needed for the FIFA 2022 world cup. A study by the Global Slavery Index (2017) has estimated that 30 300 people are currently living in modern slavery in Qatar.

Furthermore, women’s rights play an important role in human rights, where until 2009, women in Kuwait were not allowed to obtain passports as set out by a law in 1962 which required women to have their husband’s permission in order to apply for a passport. This undermined women’s right to free will. Although it is argued that this law had only applied to married women, where it states in “Article 15 of the Passport Law 11/1962, a married Kuwaiti woman cannot apply for a passport without the written approval of her husband, but an unmarried woman over 21 years of age can directly obtain her passport” (Nazir and Tomppert 2005, 129).

Finally, the topic of woman’s rights is important to this discussion, where Saudi Arabia’s following of Wahhabism as a version of Sunni Islam has impacted on gender based discrimination in Saudi Arabia’s state practices. Thus, women’s rights have been limited in various ways through legal restrictions on their everyday lives, where the law does not provide equality to women, where women “do not enjoy the full benefits of citizenship or legal adulthood” (Nazir and Tomppert 2005, 258). Furthermore, the movement of women has been restricted in that they should be accompanied by their husband or a close male relative when leaving their neighborhood, they should not use public transport and they have been prohibited from driving. It is important to note that these restrictions have been argued to be necessary to ensure the protection of women. Despite this, it is not to say that in recent times there have not been advancements to this although, “the major fault line in the Saudi body polity is the regime’s approach to threat the country as uniform despite the diverse regional, tribal, cultural and sectorial diversity. Calls for the reform of the system have been met with suppression and repression” (Seokolo 2015, 71).

South Africa’s Position:

In considering South Africa’s position on human rights in the region, it is important to note that South Africa’s relations with these states have not been impacted by their stances on human rights despite South Africa’s foreign policy being committed to human rights. Rather, “South Africa constructed itself as a friend to all and an enemy to none, a state willing to consult and co-operate with others… it recognized all states irrespective of its ideological stances” (Van Wyk 2004, 106). However, this is not to say that South Africa has not had a position on women’s rights, despite its failure to provide statements or criticisms on particular cases mentioned above. Both South Africa and Saudi Arabia are members to the G20, which established the Women 20 (W20) in 2015 as an outreach engagement with the aim of addressing gender inequalities, with South Africa participating in the W20 in 2016. Moreover, Deputy Minister Mfeketo (2016) stated that South Africa’s “collective actions to promote gender equality and women empowerment continues, and is not limited… to our borders”.

South Africa’s Relations with Syria:

Formal relations between South Africa and Syria were established in June 1994, with the Syrian embassy in Pretoria opening in 1998. Since the establishment of these relations, an emphasis has been placed on further strengthening both political as well as economic and trade relations. This has been undertaken since 1999 and in 2010, deputy President “Motlanthe paid a working visit to Syria… [where] an agreement on economic and trade cooperation was signed” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011a, 321). In addition, relations were strengthened further in 2015 where bilateral relations and the Protocol on Cooperation between the two states were renewed for another five years, with both states holding diplomatic missions in one another’s states (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2016a). Thus, this paper should note the trade relations between the two states. “In 2009, South African exports to Syria totaled R63 million and South Africa imported goods to the value of R3,3 million from Syria” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2011a, 321). In bilateral trade data provided by the South African Revenue Services (2017), trade between South Africa and Syria had been in favour of South Africa. Since 2009, South Africa’s lowest exports to Syria had been in 2013 amounting to R13 million, while in 2014, we see a significant increase in exports of approximately 818% with exports amounting to R118,9 million. In contrast, imports had seen a decrease from R2,5 million to R1,3 million for 2013 and 2014. Since 2012, South Africa’s main export has been prepared foodstuffs, which plays a major role due to the ongoing civil war in Syria since 2011.

Syrian Civil War:

What began as peaceful protests in 2011, soon turned into a violent civil war. “The protests started after two Arab dictators, in Tunisia and Egypt, had already stepped down amid pro-democracy demonstrations in their countries” (Gilsinan 2015). In March 2011, teenagers were arrested and tortured after they painted revolutionary slogans on school walls in support of the Arab Spring, while one of the students had been killed. This resulted in the rise of pro-democracy protests in Syria. It has been argued that President Bashar al- Assad responded to these protests by releasing some political prisoners (Gilsinan 2015). However, government responses to these protests included the use of force where security forces opened fire on protestors and arrested others. This led to increased unrest, where protestors demanded that Assad step down as president, this had been supported by a large number of the Syrian population. The use of force by the government caused opposition groups to arm themselves, where we see the emergence of various opposition groups including the Free Syrian Army in 2011. This violence led to the civil war. Rebel groups increased in numbers, with the goal to overthrow Assad’s regime. “In Syria, a relatively modern and educated society, multi-sectarian and tolerant, but ruled as a secular police state by the iron hand of minority Shia Alawites, the Arab Spring’s contagion had propelled massive non-violent protests that initially destabilized the regime” (Kinsman 2016, 2). It can be argued that the rise of rebel groups has played a role in the continuation of Syria’s civil war. Moreover, together with the government, these parties to the civil war have created devastating effects for the Syrian state.

South Africa’s Position:

In considering South Africa’s position on the Syrian civil war it is important to note the prior to the civil war, Syria had an interest in buying arms from Denel. However, South Africa had been against this. In support of the South African position on this is the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) which maintains that “arms should not be sold to countries where they could contribute to internal repression or violate human rights” (Bishku 2010, 168). From this, the notion of sovereignty plays an important role, where Lipton (2009, 332-333) provides the argument that;

 South Africa strongly supports state sovereignty and multilateralism, urging that external interventions in sovereign states only be undertaken under the aegis of the UN or regional organisations such as the AU or SADC. South Africa also strongly advocates the use of non-violence and diplomacy to resolve interstate disputes, rather than armed force or even measures such as sanctions.

However, in contrast with the above argument, it should be noted that although the domestic occurrences within a state are the responsibility of the state, “the non-interference principle is used as a legal pretext to ignore serious human rights abuses in countries concerned and [affords] them untouchable status” (Olivier 2006, 179). It is in line with this that scholars believe that South Africa should not be involved or concerned with the occurrences in Syria. As cited in Powell (2013), Tom Wheeler from SAIIA has argued that South Africa has remained quiet over the Syrian issue because it is not an area of concern.

Nonetheless, South Africa’s position on the civil war in Syria has reaffirmed South Africa’s position in the international community as a ‘follower’. Here we see the role of BRICS, where South Africa’s alignment with both Russia and China has impacted on its position. In a speech given on South Africa’s foreign policy, President Zuma argued that;

 “To achieve lasting peace in Syria, the international community must reject all calls for regime change in that country. The international community must not support external military interference or any action in Syria that is not in line with the charter of the United Nations. Support for non-state actors and terrorist organisations that seek to effect a regime change in Syria is unacceptable” (Allison 2015).

 This position can be argued to be due to South Africa’s concern of the role of western states involved in the conflict who advocate for regime change. This can further be argued to have stemmed from South Africa’s history regarding its position on Libya, where many states felt betrayed by western powers. From this, South Africa has been cautious in voting on UNSC Resolutions regarding Syria. In 2011, South Africa abstained from UNSC votes on Syria, but in 2012, South Africa voted in favour of sending UN observers to Syria as outlined in UNSCR 2042 (Mansour 2012). Thereby, South Africa’s position regarding Syria had been one which emphasized the importance of finding a solution through dialogue, where it has maintained that all parties to the conflict in Syria should respect human rights in finding a political settlement. Thus, South Africa does not support the occurrences in Syria, where Powell (2013) has declared that;

 South Africa does not believe that bombing the already suffering people and crumbling infrastructure of Syria will contribute to a sustainable solution… The U.N. Security Council cannot and must not be used to authorize military intervention aimed at regime change. A regime change agenda through outside military intervention undermines any hope of sustainable all-inclusive political solution.

In addition, South Africa believes that new governance models can be established in Syria, where Syrians should be able to effectively exercise their freedoms. However, this should be achieved by Syrians, without the interference from the international community (Ebrahim 2011).

South Africa’s Relations with Turkey:

Important to the establishment of relations between South Africa and Turkey has been through Turkey’s support in the struggle to end apartheid, full diplomatic relations had been established in 1992, with embassies held in both states. Here, South Africa’s emphasis on “South-South cooperation includes strengthening the political, social and economic linkages with partners in the developing world, especially emerging powers like… Turkey” (Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung 2014, 17). However, Turkish Ambassador to South Africa Elif Çomoğlu Ülgen (2017) argues that there should be some criticism regarding these relations, where more emphasis should be placed on taking care of one another, although this can be affected by the geographic distance between the two states and the fact that South Africa places more of an emphasis on the African continent while sharing more interests with the BRICS countries. However, this is not to say that South Africa and Turkey have neglected their relations.

This becomes important in that Turkey has one of the largest economies in the international community and is important to South Africa due to their growing economic relations. South Africa and Turkey have enjoyed trade relations with one another with trade favouring both sides. In bilateral trade data provided by the South African Revenue Services (2017), the difference in trade values since 2011 has not exceeded R600 million, except for the period of 2012, which saw the largest trade difference of R1,214 billion. Here, South Africa’s major exports to Turkey have been in mineral products as well as iron and steel, while imports from Turkey have been in machinery, vehicles, aircraft and vessels.

Included in these relations are agreements which have been established between the two states. In 2003, agreements had been signed on trade and economic cooperation, where this is believed to “contribute to continued growth in trade, and economic and investment relations” (Department of Foreign Affairs 2006, 328). In addition, in 2008 a Joint Economic Commission had been established to facilitate cooperation between the two states. In 2009, a platform for the enhancement of political relations had been established (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2010). While in 2010, the two states had signed an important agreement establishing a binational commission. Finally, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (2011a, 329) has provided that;

 In May 2010, Deputy President Motlanthe undertook an official visit to the Republic of Turkey at the invitation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan. South Africa and Turkey share common platforms in key multilateral institutions, including as members of the G20 and Executive Board of the International Atomic Energy Agency… The visit also focused on expanding and consolidating of political and economic relations, promoting the Government’s key priorities, the African Agenda, multilateral issues, including UNSC issues, the Middle East Peace Process, climate change and the G20.

 Therefore, it can be argued that political and trade relations are important factors in future relations between the two states in that there exists a high potential from an economic perspective. However, more needs to be done to improve these relations where there currently exists no free trade agreements, while the relationship can be criticized in terms of the expected frequency of the bilateral high level state visits.

Increased Terrorism:

The fundamental issue seen in Turkey has been the rise of terrorist attacks since 2015, with several terrorist groups active. However, important to this has been the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) and the Islamic State (IS), where devastating attacks have taken place in, but not been limited to, Ankara as well as Istanbul. The PKK consists of Kurdish nationals living in Turkey, while other Kurdish nationals live in Syria, Iran and Iraq. The Kurds have been denied their decades long struggle to achieve statehood, with the PKK in Turkey fighting for greater political and cultural rights, while it has accused the Turkish government of not protecting Kurdish civilians (Council on Foreign Relations 2017). Thus, there have been heightened tensions between Turkey and the PKK, which has been considered a terrorist organisation by members of the international community. Despite attempts at a ceasefire, this fell apart in 2015 following a bombing in Suruc.

From the above, it can be argued that Turkey faces increased terrorist attacks as a response from these groups where Turkey “launched a military incursion into neighboring Syria to clear Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia fighters from its border. Turkey has also stepped up its campaign against Kurdish militants” (Bilen 2017). Thus, both the PKK and the IS pose a threat to the Turkish state, where the image below illustrates the various attacks which have taken place in Turkey as well as the number of civilians killed as a result.

 

Image by Almukhtar et al. 2017.

 

South Africa’s Position:

The South African government has defined terrorism as “an incident of violence, or the threat thereof, against a person, a group of persons or property not necessarily related to the aim of the incident, to coerce a government or civil population to act or not to act according to certain principles” (Masuku 2002, 2). From this, South Africa’s position regarding terrorism has been clear as seen in a statement given by President Zuma which reiterated this point in that;

 “Terrorism in any form and from whichever quarter constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security, and any acts of terrorism are criminal, unjustifiable and cannot be condoned. To this end, South Africa wishes to reiterate its commitment to international initiatives aimed at fighting the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism” (Department of International Relations and Cooperation 2016c).

 Thus, it can be argued that the South African government places an emphasis on preventing terror attacks, protecting civilians against terror attacks and cooperating with the international community regarding terrorism, with the aim of strengthening relations with Turkey in the aims of creating a better world (Malefane 2016). In addition to this, South Africa is a member of the Indian Ocean Rim Association and has agreed to the Declaration on Preventing and Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism which had been established in 2017.

However, terrorism in Turkey has not been a priority in South Africa which can be attributed to various factors, namely the geographic distance between the two states and the fact that South Africa has not been exposed to these terrorist attacks. Moreover, a problem arises in that South Africa’s major news sources do not provide accurate detailed coverage of the events which take place in Turkey and often they rely on western dominated news sources. Although, it should be noted that South Africa cannot base its foreign policy or relations with Turkey solely on fighting terrorism (Ülgen 2017). While no state can free itself from terrorism, states should not neglect the security of its individuals and therefore, should be taking active measures to fight terrorism in the international community in its commitment to peace and security.

In conclusion, this paper has provided an analysis of South Africa’s relations with key states in the Middle East since 1994. In these relations, it was discussed that South Africa’s foreign policy had been informed by its domestic policy and that it establishes relations in order to advance the development of the South African state. Included in these discussions were the drivers of South Africa’s relations. These drivers were i) human rights, ii) ideology, iii) defense considerations, iv) public participation, v) economics and trade, as well as, vi) diplomacy. It should be noted that while all factors can be applied to each state, specific factors have been emphasized in certain relations.

Firstly, human rights inform relations as a main principle of South Africa’s foreign policy, emphasized since 1994. To illustrate this, the relations between South Africa and Egypt were discussed, followed by a discussion of South Africa’s position on the Arab spring. Secondly, ideology has played a role in driving South Africa’s relations with states such as Iran, where a history of support has led to South Africa supporting and defending Iran’s nuclear aspirations. Thirdly, South Africa has emphasized the importance of establishing peace and security in the international community, where the role of defense considerations was discussed, analyzing South Africa’s relations with Iraq in its position on the 2003 invasion as well as, more recently, South Africa’s relations with Turkey regarding the increase in terrorist attacks since 2015. Fourth, the case of Israel and Palestine has been examined, finding that South Africa has a large participation rate from the public as well as civil society groups in their attempts to influence policies towards both Israel and Palestine. Fifth, economics and trade has been fundamental in driving South Africa’s relations with the Middle East, where trade relations were analyzed with each state included in this paper. Finally, the factor of diplomacy became important in analyzing South Africa’s relations with Syria, where it became evident that South Africa has guided its relations and taken a position closely tied to BRICS members, while it has been involved with multilateral institutions. 

References:

Allison, Simin. 2015. “Zuma Does Damage Control as He Explains SA’s Foreign

Policy.” Daily Maverick. September 16. https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-09-16-zuma-does-damage-control-as-he-explains-sas-foreign-policy/#.WNNhB46xVfQ.

Almukhtar, Sarah, Matt Bloch, Larry Buchanan, Ford Fessenden, Josh Keller,

Rebecca Lai, Sergio Peçanha, and Derek Watkins. 2017. “Wave of Terror Attacks in Turkey Continue at a Steady Pace.” The New York Times, January 5. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/06/28/world/middleeast/turkey-terror-attacks-bombings.html.

Assembly, UN General. 1948. “Universal declaration of human rights.” UN General

Assembly. December 10.

Barber, James. 2005. “The New South Africa’s Foreign Policy: Principles and

Practice.” International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-) 81 (5): 1079–96. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3569076.

Bilen, Seda Sezer. 2017. “Experts Say Turkey Set for Terror Attack Increase in

2017.” Deutsche Welle. January 3. http://www.dw.com/en/experts-say-turkey-set-for-terror-attack-increase-in-2017/a-36978912.

Bishku, Michael B. 2010. “South Africa and the Middle East.” Middle East Policy 17

(3): 153–74. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4967.2010.00457.x.

Connolly, Kevin. 2013. “Mandela’s Mixed Legacy for the Middle East.” BBC News,

December 6, sec. Middle East. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-23085865.

Council on Foreign Relations. 2017. “Kurdish Conflict.” Global Conflict Tracker. May

  1. http://www.cfr.org/global/global-conflict-tracker/p32137#!/.

Da Costa, Wendy Jasson. 2006. “‘SA Has No Role in Middle East.’” IOL. July 29.

http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/sa-has-no-role-in-middle-east-287267.

Department of Foreign Affairs. 2004. “Strategic Plan.” Department of International

Relations and Cooperation. http://www.dirco.gov.za/department/stratplan04/1p11_19.pdf.

———.2006. “Foreign Relations 2005/06.” In South Africa

Yearbook 2005/06, 13th ed., 305–240. Pretoria: Government Communications.

———. 2009. “Foreign Relations 2008/09.” In South Africa Yearbook 2008/09, 16th

ed., 242–79. Pretoria: Government Communications.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation. 2010. “International

Relations and Cooperation.” In South Africa Yearbook 2009/10, 17th ed., 321–58. Pretoria: Government Communications. http://www.gcis.gov.za/content/resource-centre/sa-info/yearbook/2009-10.

———. 2011a. “International Relations and Cooperation.” In South Africa Yearbook

2010/11, 18th ed., 305–34. Pretoria: Government Communications. http://www.gcis.gov.za/content/resourcecentre/sa-info/yearbook2010-11.

———. 2011b. “Building A Better World: The Diplomacy of Ubuntu. White Paper on

South Africa’s Foreign Policy.” http://www.gov.za/documents/white-paper-south-african-foreign-policy-final-draft.

———. 2013. “Israel (State of).” Bilateral Relations. November 27.

http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/bilateral/israel.html.

———. 2016a. “International Relations.” In South Africa Yearbook 2015/16, 23rd ed.,

271–300. Pretoria: Government Communications.

———. 2016b. “Iran (Islamic Republic of).” Bilateral Relations. August 25.

http://www.dirco.gov.za/foreign/bilateral/iran.html.

———. 2016c. “South African Government Condemns Killing of Russian

Ambassador to Turkey.” International Relations and Cooperation. December 20. http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/2016/turk1220.htm.

Department of Trade and Investment. 2017. “South African Embassy, Abu Dhabi,

United Arab Emirates.” South African Embassy, Abu Dhabi, United Arab

Emirates. Accessed March 31. http://www.dirco.gov.za/abudhabi/.

Ebrahim, Ebrahim Ismail. 2011. “Lecture by Deputy Minister of International

Relations and Cooperation, Ebrahim I Ebrahim, on the Occasion of the

Speakers Meeting at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), 22 July 2011.” In. South African Institute of International Affairs: Department of International Relations and Cooperation. http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/speeches/2011/ebra0722.html.

Fabricius, Peter. 2016. “SA’s Role in Defusing Middle East Tension.” IOL. January

  1. http://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/sas-role-in-defusing-middle-east-

tension-1975027.

Fakude, Thembisa. 2016a. “The Impact of the South Africa-Iran Relations on the

African Union.” Al Jazeera. February 28.

http://studies.aljazeera.net/en/reports/2016/02/impact-south-africa-iran-relations-african-union-160228101501661.html.

———. 2016b. “South Africa: Between Iran and Saudi Arabia?” Al Jazeera. March

  1. http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2016/03/south-africa-iran-saudi-arabia-160331113354567.html.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. 2014. A Foreign Policy Handbook: An Overview of South

African Foreign Policy in Context. Cape Town: Institute for Global Dialogue. http://www.fes-southafrica.org/fes/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/A-Foreign-Policy-Handbook-ebook.pdf.

Gilsinan, Kathy. 2015. “A Brief Guide to the Syrian Civil War.” The Atlantic. October

  1. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/syrian-civil-war-guide-isis/410746/.

Global Slavery Index. 2017. “Qatar.” Global Slavery Index.

https://www.globalslaveryindex.org/country/qatar/.

Gulliver. 2011. “All over the Place | The Economist.” The Economist. March 24.

http://www.economist.com/node/18447027.

Hengari, Tjiurimo A. 2014. “South Africa’s Regional Policy: The Link Between

Normative Anchors and Economic Diplomacy in SADC.” South African Institute of International Affairs.

Hlela, N. 2002. “South Africa Since 1994: Lessons and Prospects.” In Domestic

Constraints and Challenges to South Africa’s Foreign Policy in Africa, by Sipho Buthelezi and le Roux Elizabeth. Pretoria: Africa Institute of South Africa.

Hughes, Tim. 2004. Composers, Conductors and Players: Harmony and Discord in

South African Foreign Policy Making. 1st ed. Johannesburg: Konrad-

Adenauer-Stiftung. http://www.kas.de/wf/en/33.5765/.

Jeppie, Shamil. 1998. “Foreign Affairs.” Centre for Contemporary Islam.

www.cci.uct.ac.za/cci/publications/aria/download_issues/1998#sthash.BXOfDNmw.dpuf.

Jordaan, Eduard. 2008. “Barking at the Big Dogs: South Africa’s Foreign Policy

Towards the Middle East.” The Round Table 97 (397): 547–59. doi:10.1080/00358530802207344.

Kinsman, Jeremy. 2016. “Understanding the Recent Road to Crisis in the Middle

East.” Open Canada. April 1. https://www.opencanada.org/features/understanding-long-road-crisis-middle-east/.

Lenk, Arthur. 2017. South Africa’s Relations with Israel.

Leverett, Flynt, and Hillary Mann Leverett. 2013. “Nelson Mandela, Iran, and the

Critique of American Hegemony.” Going to Tehran. December 13.

http://goingtotehran.com/nelson-mandela-iran-and-the-critique-of-american-hegemony.

Lipton, Merle. 2009. “Understanding South Africa’s Foreign Policy: The Perplexing

Case of Zimbabwe.” South African Journal of International Affairs 16 (3): 331–46. doi:10.1080/10220460903495181.

Malefane. 2016. “Remarks by Ambassador Malefane Media Breakfast.” In. Ankara:

South African Embassy Ankara, Turkey. http://www.southafrica.org.tr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=314&Itemid=184&lang=en.

Mansour, Imad. 2012. “South Africa and the Arab Spring: Opportunities to Match

Diplomacy Goals and Strategies.” Actuelles de l’Ifri. https://www.ifri.org/sites/default/files/atoms/files/actuelleimadmansourafsud.pdf.

Masuku, Thabani. 2002. “Reflections on South Africa’s Approach to Terrorism.”

Center for Human Rights International. http://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/publications/nl/articles/south_africa/reflections_on_sa_approach_to_terrorism.pdf.

Mbeki, Thabo. 2001. Letter from the President. ANC Today, 1/30. 17-23 August.

———.2005. “Address of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, at the

Opening Ceremony of the 18th World Petroleum Congress: Northgate, Johannesburg, 25 September 2005.” In. Johannesburg: Department of International Relations and Cooperation. http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/speeches/2005/mbek0925.htm.

———. 2006. “Toast Remarks of the President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, in

Honour of His Excellency, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, at Tuynhuys, Cape Town, 31 March 2006.” In. Cape Town: Department of International Relations and Cooperation. http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/speeches/2006/mbek0331.htm.

———. 2008. “Remarks from President Mbeki to Designated Heads of Mission at

Credentials Ceremony, Presidential Guesthouse, Pretoria, 25 January 2008.” In. Pretoria: Department of International Relations and Cooperation. http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/speeches/2008/mbek0125.html.

Mbeki, Thabo, and Hosni Mubarak. 2008. “Notes Following Joint Media Briefing on

Conclusion of Discussions between Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Hosni Mubarak, Media Centre, Union Buildings, Pretoria, Tuesday 29 July 2008.” In. Pretoria: Department of International Relations and Cooperation. http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/speeches/2008/mbek0729.html.

Mfeketo, Nomaindiya. 2016. “Deputy Minister Nomaindiya Mfeketo’s Address on the

Occasion of Women’s Intergenerational Dialogue, 31 August 2016, Cape Town.” In. Cape Town: Department of International Relations and Cooperation. http://www.dirco.gov.za/docs/speeches/2016/mfek0831.htm.

Mills, Greg, and Simon Baynham. 1994. From Pariah to Participant: South Africa’s

Evolving Foreign Relations, 1990-1994. Johannesburg: South African Institute of International Affairs.

Morgenthau, H. 1973. Politics among nations: the struggle for power and peace. 5th

  1. New York: Alfred Knopf.

Nashashibi, Sharif. 2014. “Nelson Mandela and His Special Relationship with the

Arab World.” The Middle East Online. http://www.themiddleeastmagazine.com/wp-mideastmag-live/2014/01/nelson-mandela-and-his-special-relationship-with-the-arab-world/.

Nazir, Sameena, and Leigh Tomppert, eds. 2005. Women’s Rights in the Middle

East and North Africa: Citizenship and Justice. New York: Lanham, Md: Freedom House; Rowman & Littlefield.

Nel, Philip, and Jo-Ansie Van Wyk. 2003. “Foreign Policy Making in South Africa:

From Public Participation to Democratic Participation.” Politeia 22 (3): 49–71. http://journals.co.za/content/polit/22/3/EJC88099.

Nqakula, Charles. 2013. “The Foreign Policy of South Africa From 1994 – 2012.”

DIRCO. http://www.dirco.gov.za/maputo/speeches2011/remarks_by_charles_nqakula.pdf.

Ogunnubi, Olusola. 2015. “South Africa’s Soft Power: A Comparative Content

Analysis.” Politeia 34 (2): 40–58. http://journals.co.za/content/polit/34/2/EJC187679.

Olivier, Gerrit. 2006. “Ideology in South African Foreign Policy.” Politeia 25 (2): 169–

  1. http://journals.co.za/content/polit/25/2/EJC88158.

Powell, Anita. 2013. “South Africa Opposes Syria Strikes.” Voice of America. August

  1. http://www.voanews.com/a/south-africa-jacob-zuma-opposed-to-us-international-military-strikes-on-syria/1739566.html.

SA News. 2016. “SA, Middle East Relations Get Major Boost | SA News.” South

African Government News Agency. March 29. http://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa-world/sa-middle-east-relations-get-major-boost.

Schlemmer, Engela C. 2016. “An Overview of South Africa’s Bilateral Investment

Treaties and Investment Policy.” ICSID Review: Foreign Investment Law Journal 31 (1): 167. http://0-search.ebscohost.com.innopac.wits.ac.za/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=113003664&site=eds-live&scope=site.

Seokolo, Tebogo Joseph. 2015. “South Africa’s Post-1994 Diplomacy in Securing

the Supply of Oil.” University of Pretoria.

Snyman, Henning. 2011. “A Reflection on South Africa’s Engagements with the

Middle East and North Africa.” South African Institute of International Affairs. July 26. http://www.saiia.org.za/presentations-speeches/a-reflection-on-south-africas-engagements-with-the-middle-east-and-north-africa.

Solomon, H. 2001. “Reconstructing Sovereignty in an Era of Human Security and

Intervention.” Politeia 20 (3): 22–33. http://journals.co.za/content/polit/20/3/EJC88044.

South African Government. 1995. “Foreign Policy for South Africa: Discussion

Document.” Government of South Africa. http://www.gov.za/documents/foreign-policy-south-africa-discussion-document-0.

South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA). 1996. Draft South African

White Paper on foreign policy, Johannesburg, SAIIA. August 1996.

South African Revenue Services. 2017. “Cumulative Bilateral Trade for 2010 – 2017.”

South African Revenue Services. http://www.sars.gov.za/ClientSegments/Customs-Excise/Trade-Statistics/Pages/Merchandise-Trade-Statistics.aspx.

Thipanyane, Tseliso. 2011. “South Africa’s Foreign Policy under the Zuma

Government.” 64. Policy Brief. Africa Institute of South Africa. http://www.ai.org.za/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2011/12/No.-64.South-Africa%E2%80%99s-Foreign-Policy-under-the-Zuma-Government-1.pdf.

Ülgen, Elif Çomoğlu. 2017. South Africa’s Relations with Turkey.

Van Wyk, Jo-Ansie K. 2004. “South Africa’s Post-Apartheid Foreign Policy: A

Constructivist Analysis.” Politeia, no. 3: 103. http://journals.co.za/docserver/fulltext/polit/23/3/polit_v23_n3_a7.pdf?expires=1489738829&id=id&accname=57716&checksum=C52B30DAFBE1BC46E58D42640C7FDB4D.

Wabiri, Njeri. 2011. “Middle East Crises: The Risk and Impact on South Africa’s

Crude Oil Imports.” Human Sciences Research Council. February 24. http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/media-briefs/hiv-aids-stis-and-tb/mid-east-crises-the-risks-and-impact-on-sa-oil-imports.

Xolela, Mangcu. 2009. “A New Foreign Policy for Jacob Zuma’s South Africa.”

Brookings Institution. July 20. https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/a-new-foreign-policy-for-jacob-zumas-south-africa/.

Youla, Christian. 2009. “The Foreign Policies of Mandela and Mbeki: A Clear Case of

Idealism vs Realism?” Stellenbosch University.

 

A SATAC Member’s Paper – Copyright Natasha Agrizzi – May only be quoted from with full accreditation.

Hits: 372

Non- Nuclear Explosives Used By Terrorists

Explosives are materials that are designed to produce controlled violent reactions. These reactions generate large amounts of heat and gas in a fraction of a second. Shock waves produced by these rapidly expanding gases are responsible for much of the destruction caused by an explosion. Other materials are often added by terrorists to an explosive to augment the effect such as incendiary material, projectiles (ball bearings, nails, metal scrap) chemicals or biological contaminants to increase damage and/or casualties. Terrorists tend to not try to use explosives for demolition purposes as that requires considerable technical skill and knowledge. An example of such a failure is the right wing bombing of the Mtamvuna Bridge between the RSA and the former Transkei in 2002.

Certain elements can naturally produce a burning or explosive effect, notably the Alkali Metals (in order of reaction, starting low): Sodium <Na>, Potassium <K>, Rubidium <Rb>, Caesium <Cs> (both rare) and Francium <Fr> (a very rare and radioactive element). These will burn or explode if mixed with water.

Francium would react much more violently than this sample of sodium in water (Ajhalls, public domain)

The first known explosive is Black Gunpowder, a mix of carbon (charcoal) <C>, sulphur <S>, and potassium nitrate (saltpetre) <KNO3> with water <H2O>. When these chemicals are ignited a very rapid chemical reaction – expansion of high temperature gasses – takes place. The products of that reaction are four gases <43%>, water and two solids (56%), which forensic science investigators can easily detect, potassium carbonate and potassium sulphide.

The gases create shock waves that can knock down people, trees, buildings, and other objects and carries the hot gases, which can burn objects and initiate fires. This combination of shock wave and high temperature is characteristic of most kinds of explosives. However, the mixture used in gunpowder is fairly critical and if got wrong may do nothing or just create rapid burning. This may be what happened in the 15 Sept 2017 Parsons Green train ‘bomb’.

Definitions

Gunpowder: An explosive mixture of charcoal, potassium nitrate, and sulphur often used to propel bullets from guns and shells from cannons. It is relatively easy to make.

Nitrocellulose: The propellant in modern firearm ammunition. It is relatively easy to make.

Dynamite: An explosive made by soaking an inert (inactive or stable), absorbent substance with a mixture of nitro-glycerine or ammonium nitrate, a combustible substance such as wood pulp, and an antacid. Not easy to make and dangerous.

Chemical explosive: A compound or mixture that will explode.

Binary Explosive: Two or more chemicals which, when separate will not explode, but when combined in the correct proportion will explode, either spontaneously or when initiated. A simple example which is well known and warned about on them is mixing pool acid with pool chlorine. When weaponised this mixture also produces toxic chlorine gas.

Nitro-glycerine: An explosive liquid used to make dynamite. Nitro-glycerine is highly dangerous as it is very unstable and explodes if subjected to shock. TNT can ‘sweat ‘ nitro-glycerine, due to heat or age.

TNT: Trinitrotoluene is a high explosive, one of the most commonly used explosives for military, industrial, and mining applications.

IED: An Improvised Explosive Device is a bomb constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action. It may be constructed of military, commercial or home-made explosives. Commercial explosives are widely used in South Africa for mining use and are a popular ‘black market’ item, mostly for criminal use but equally illegally available to terrorists.

Classification of explosives

Explosives can be classified into one of four categories: primary, low, high, and nuclear explosives.

Primary explosives. Primary explosives are generally used to set off other explosives. They are very sensitive to shock, heat, or electricity and, therefore, must be handled with great care. Failure to do so has resulted in the death of many terrorist bomb makers.

Primary explosives also are known as initiating explosives, blasting caps, detonators, or primers.

Low explosives. Low explosives burn only at their surface. But this burn takes place very rapidly, just a few thousandths of a second. This property is utilised in guns and artillery because too rapid an explosion could cause the weapon itself to blow up. Fireworks also are low explosives.

High explosives. High explosives are much more powerful than primary or low explosives. When detonated all parts of the explosive blow up within a few millionths of a second. Some also are less likely to explode by accident. High explosives include ‘Anfo’ – an ammonium nitrate and fuel oil mixture – which is very popular with terrorists as it is very easy to make at home.

Others include dynamite, nitro-glycerine, PETN (pentaerythritol tetra nitrate), picric acid, and TNT (trinitrotoluene). They are the explosive force used in military hand grenades, bombs, and shells. C1 and Semtex plastic explosives are very popular military demolition explosives.

High explosives that are set off by heat or electricity are called primary explosives. High explosives that can only be set off only by a detonator are called secondary explosives. When mixed with oil or wax, high explosives become like clay and are called ‘plastic explosives’. They can be moulded into various shapes to hide them and so are a favourite weapon of terrorists.

Nuclear explosives

Nuclear explosives have not yet been used by terrorists due to the complexity of building them, international controls and lack of availability of the main components.

A SATAC Open Source Article By Andy Grudko

Pretoria 2017

Hits: 88

How is terrorism useful?

They say that terror is the anticipation and horror is the aftermath. While a tiny percentage will ever be caught up in a terror attack, the feeling that they might be impacts the moods, behaviour, expectations, values and even the physiology of billions of people worldwide. From this point of view, terrorism can be seen as a powerful form of mind control.

The anticipation of something bad happening  particularly of sudden, unexpected terror has complex and profound impacts on humans both individually and in groups and it is in these responses that we can see how terrorism is useful.

The anticipation of terror, the state of a background hum of anxiety (called angst by Sigmund Freud) causes the adrenal glands to secrete adrenaline and cortisol. While Cortisol helps us ready for flight-or-fight, elevated cortisol levels have long term negative impacts on the immune system making people more available to disease. Adrenaline is also a neurotransmitter that is related to states of highly focused attention but it is also associated with dark, anxious thinking.. At a physiological level terrorism can cause adrenal fatigue, anxiety, diabetes.

Some other reasons how terrorism is useful

Terroristic acts catch media attention quickly – they can reach the mainstream media and provide immediate worldwide publicity for a terror group or cause on a tiny budget, By the same token, terroristic acts can be used to detract the media from other issues, agendas and causes pushing them into the background.

The anticipation of a terror act can impact lifestyle choices and consumption patterns which will have reverbatory effects on the community and the economy at large. Fear can literally drop someone from a level of actualisation into instinctual survival mode.

Terroristic acts are potent tools of social engineering that drive and accentuate divisions across boundaries. They can stimulate wars, population movements and the derailing of governments and social order. With increasing upheaval on many fronts in the world now, we can expect to see terrorism being used more often and closer to home.

A SATAC Open Source Article By SATACResearch Team

Hits: 168