The other day, we read the text of the international relations resolutions adopted by the ANC at its 53rd national conference in Mangaung, last December. On close examination, taken as a whole, the resolutions are both a greatly ambitious and a profoundly depressing document, writes J BROOKS SPECTOR.
On the one hand, it is devoutly forward-looking, searching for the way to nurture the creation of a better, safer, fairer world. On the other, however, this document seems deeply rooted in some old, worn-out ideas. Many of these might have been best left behind at the moment the East German border police, the Volpos, patrolling Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie opened that gate in the Berlin Wall and let all Germans come and go freely.
The party’s document begins on an emphatically optimistic, high, even messianic note. The precepts state:
“1. The ANC [is] in pursuit of its international relations objectives as directed by the Freedom Charter which states that ‘there shall be peace and friendship’. Therefore, International Relations is utilised by the ANC to form friendships and to work towards peace in the continent and in the world, whilst pursuing South Africa’s national interest;
The ANC’s international relations policy is directly informed by our domestic policy, and vice versa, and they are mutually reinforcing;
The ANC remains comm...