Russia made a fantastic investment years ago. For the price of a few secondhand AK47s and unused landmines and providing free political schooling, they bought 27 years of kneejerk fealty from the governing ANC. Meanwhile other cadres were toughing it out in the bastions of democracy and liberal thought – London, the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Mbeki had it particularly tough puffing on his pipe while contemplating Dickens – it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, what did Russia actually do for South Africa apart from Putin offering Zuma a nuclear reactor and some secretive medical treatment for him and Mabuza? Nada, nothing, niks! Meanwhile the UK and the USA have been offering hugely beneficial trade deals and the northern European countries have been pouring billions into social and democracy strengthening projects. This has been running at close to R17bn p.a. for the period 2012-2019, for example.
With Russia’s unilateral invasion – denazification or peacekeeping according to Putin – of Ukraine, which was a brother Socialist Republic until given complete independence by the Russian dominated Soviet, the ever flexible and hypocritical ANC has found itself with a self-inflicted wedgie. It’s bending over backwards to the point that it’s about to disappear up its own arsehole. Do they dissociate themselves from a friend with few benefits who has committed a blatant act of international aggression, do they prevaricate or do they support him?
DIRCO (aka Foreign Affairs, and we are not talking about Gigaba’s overseas mistress in New York) jumped the gun and asked Russia nicely to leave. This didn’t go down well with the ANC and, after a number of jumbled statements, the ANC’s position has becoming clearer – they wholeheartedly support a war criminal.
On 5 March, the ANC spokesidiot, Pule ‘The Other One’ Mabe, opined, “The ANC notes the draconian decision by the EU to impose sanctions on Russia … following the escalation of hostilities between Ukraine and Russia.” What no mention of the massive and draconian invasion of a peaceful and truly democratic sovereign nation on the slimmest of trumped up pretexts? He later goes on to disgorge this pearl of wisdom without a whiff of irony, “Stifling the plurality and diversity of views undermines internationally agreed principles on freedom of speech, choice and association. … the EU must still provide legal justification for this course of action.” Really. Does he actually believe that Putin allows now, or in the past, anything to be broadcast/published in Russia that he doesn’t like? Stalin must be smiling. The ANC are Russia’s useful idiots. (And cheap at the price as Bosasa and the Guptas found out.)