President reconfirms ANC’s commitment to political expediency over principle

Issued by Emma Louise Powell MP – DA Shadow Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
21 Aug 2023 in News

Note to editors: Kindly disregard the previous version of this statement and replace with the following: 

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s remarks ahead of this week’s BRICS Summit have once again highlighted the profound dissonance that characterises the ANC’s foreign policy offering.

Acknowledging the critical role that values-based alignment played in helping to end Apartheid in South Africa, the President failed to offer evidence of any tangible measures implemented by his government to advance freedom, peace, and security throughout the world.

Whilst Chairperson of the African Union, Ramaphosa failed to take meaningful action towards promoting human rights and the rule of law on the African continent. The ANC-led government has consistently turned a blind eye to ongoing electoral manipulation in neighbouring Zimbabwe and has refused to condemn the recent passage of deadly anti-LGBTQI+ laws in Uganda. Little has been done to offer solutions to on-going violent conflicts in African nations such as Sudan and recently, Niger.

In the aftermath of Apartheid, South Africa bears a moral obligation to speak out against injustice in the international community. Despite this, our President remains silent in the face of human rights abuses committed by fellow BRICS member states against ethnic and religious minorities, whilst the National Conventional Arms Control Committee continues to furnish rogue actors with arms and ammunition, betraying the very principles the ANC claims to hold sacred.

The ANC-led government’s endorsement of BRICS expansion further lacks transparency in evaluation criteria. The stark disparity between South Africa’s cherished constitutional values and the country’s support for BRICS membership by applicant nations like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Cuba, and Belarus serves as an unsettling reminder of a rudderless ship adrift in stormy seas.

Forging alliances with new despotisms such as Iran not only betrays South Africa’s constitutional principles but jeopardizes our nation’s diplomatic integrity. The ANC’s cavalier attitude towards human rights violations, trading them for short-term economic interests, highlights this policy inconsistency.

In light of proposed cooperation on matters relating to cyber-security and military combat readiness, the DA remains concerned that the on-going dalliance between Pretoria and Moscow, may pose a domestic threat to South Africa’s ongoing process of democratic consolidation.

In the aftermath of Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea Grain Deal, urgent attention must now be given to addressing food insecurity as an imminent security risk on the African continent, from which Russia may stand to benefit.

As the BRICS Summit unfolds, all South Africans must ask our leaders to define for us the kind of world they are wanting to shape, ensuring that such a vision is congruent with our democratic values as a nation.

As the ANC continues to put their narrow political interests ahead of our Constitutional values, the DA will keep shining the torch of freedom, justice, and democracy for our Nation.

Be part of the mission to rescue South Africa, get help registering to vote at