US Congress receives bill to review relations with South Africa following ‘politically motivated’ ICJ case – The Mail & Guardian

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Public hearing of the International Court of Justice on the Gaza genocide case in South Africa against Israel

Vusimuzi Madonsela, South African Ambassador to the Netherlands, and Ronald Lamola, South African Minister of Justice prepare to attend a hearing as South Africa asked the court to indicate action on the alleged violations of human rights by Israel in Gaza on January 11, 2024 in The Hague, Netherlands. On January 11 and 12 at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judicial organ of the United Nations, in The Hague, South Africa seized the ICJ, asking it to rule on possible acts of ” genocide” in Gaza by Israel. . (Photo by Michel Porro/Getty Images)

A bill was submitted to the United States Congress calling for a comprehensive review of the country’s bilateral relations with South Africa following the International Court of Justice’s ruling that found it plausible that Israel committed acts of genocide against Gaza.

The bipartisan bill introduced this week by Republican U.S. Rep. John James and Democratic Rep. Jared Moskowitz could threaten South Africa’s chances of benefiting from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).

The bill will still need to be discussed and passed by Congress.

It provides that no later than 30 days after the date of enactment of this Act, United States President Joe Biden, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, shall certify to the appropriate congressional committees and make public a unclassified decision explicitly stating whether South Africa has engaged in activities that undermine the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.

It further states that the US government must provide an unclassified report submitted to the appropriate congressional committees justifying the decision made on its certificate.

U.S. Embassy mission spokesman David Feldmann declined to comment. The response from the ANC and the government will be added upon receipt.

The bill accuses the ANC of acting inconsistently with its publicly stated policy of non-alignment in international affairs.

He says the South African government has historically sided with bad actors, including Hamas and the Russian Federation.

The US Congressional bill asserts that the South African government’s support for Hamas dates back to 1994, when the ANC came to power, taking a hard line in systematically accusing Israel of practicing apartheid.

The ANC and the South African government, however, are known to have links with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) dating back to the tenure of former President Nelson Mandela.

“Following Hamas’ horrific and unprecedented unprovoked attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, in which Hamas terrorists killed and kidnapped hundreds of Israelis, members of the South African government and ANC leaders made a series of anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli remarks. -declarations and related actions”, we can read.

US Congress says some of the anti-Semitic remarks include President Cyril Ramaphosas statements accusing Israel of genocide.

He said the anti-Semitic statements also include the statement by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor expressing concern over the escalation of violence, calling on Israel for restraint in response.

It adds that Pandor implicitly accused Israel of provoking the attack through “the continued illegal occupation of Palestinian lands, the continued expansion of settlements, the desecration of the Al Aqsa Mosque and Christian holy sites and the continued oppression of the Palestinian people.”

He accused ANC national spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri of anti-Semitic remarks after he said the Palestinians’ decision to respond to the brutality of the Israeli apartheid regime was not surprising.

“On December 29, 2023, South Africa filed a political complaint before the International Court of Justice, falsely accusing Israel of committing genocide. The South African government has had increasingly close relations with the Russian Federation, which has been accused of carrying out war crimes in Ukraine and indiscriminately violating human rights. South Africa’s strong relationship with Russia extends into the military and political space, including allowing a US-sanctioned Russian cargo ship, the Lady R, to dock and transfer weapons to a base South African Navy in December 2022,” the bill states.

It also says South Africa has sent several high-level official delegations to Russia to strengthen political, intelligence and military cooperation.

The Congressional bill stipulates that South Africa and the ANC’s relations with the Chinese government and its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – which commits gross human rights violations in the province Xinjiang and implement coercive economic tactics around the world – undermine South African democracy. constitutional system of governance.

These actions include what he says is continued cross-party cooperation between the ANC and the CCP; recruiting former US and NATO fighter pilots to train Chinese People’s Liberation Army pilots at South Africa’s Test Flying Academy; South Africa hosts six Confucius Institutes supported by the Chinese government and linked to the CCP; South Africa’s participation in a political training school in Tanzania funded by the Chinese Communist Party, cooperation with China’s global Belt and Road Initiative; and the widespread presence in South Africa’s media and technology sectors of companies linked to the PRC state.

“The ANC-led South African government has a history of mismanaging a range of state resources and has often failed to deliver public services effectively, thereby threatening the people of South Africa and the ‘South African economy’, the bill states.

The bill accuses Ramaphosa of declaring a national state of disaster due to the worsening energy crisis, “the worsening electricity crisis over several years, caused by chronic mismanagement by the ‘ANC of the state-owned electricity company Eskom, resulting from endemic high-level corruption’. .

It claims that Transnet’s continued insufficient capacity, an ongoing cholera outbreak, failure to provide clean drinking water to households and widespread state capture are part of the government’s mismanagement of the state. ANC government.

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