US Congress Considering Reviewing US-South Africa Relationship After Accusing Israel Of Genocide
The United States Congress has received a bill calling for a comprehensive review of the bilateral relationship between the United States and South Africa. The bill was introduced by US Republican Congressman John James and Democratic Congressman Jared Moskowitz in response to the International Court of Justice’s suggestion that Israel may have committed acts of genocide against Gaza, M&G reported. If passed, the bill could potentially impact South Africa’s eligibility for the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). However, it is important to note that the bill still needs to undergo discussions and gain approval from Congress.
According to the bill, within 30 days of its enactment, US President Joe Biden, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense, would be required to certify to the appropriate congressional committees and publicly release an unclassified determination specifically stating whether South Africa has engaged in activities that undermine US national security or foreign policy interests. Additionally, the bill mandates that an unclassified report justifying this determination must be provided to the relevant congressional committees.
The bill accuses the African National Congress (ANC) of acting contrary to its publicly declared policy of nonalignment in international affairs. It alleges that the South African government has a history of aligning itself with malign actors such as Hamas and the Russian Federation. The bill argues that the ANC’s support for Hamas dates back to 1994, when the party first came into power and consistently accused Israel of practicing apartheid. The bill stated:
On December 29, 2023, South Africa filed a politically motivated suit in the International Court of Justice wrongfully accusing Israel of committing genocide. The South African Government has pursued increasingly close relations with the Russian Federation, which has been accused of perpetrating war crimes in Ukraine and indiscriminately undermines human rights. South Africa’s robust relationship with Russia spans the military and political space, including allowing a United States-sanctioned Russian cargo ship, the Lady R, to dock and transfer arms at a South African naval base in December 2022.
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The bill highlights instances of alleged anti-Semitic remarks made by South African government officials, including President Cyril Ramaphosa and International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor. It also raises concerns about South Africa’s relationships with Russia and China, citing allegations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine and human rights violations in China’s Xinjiang province.
Furthermore, the bill criticizes the ANC-led South African government for mismanaging state resources and failing to effectively deliver public services, which it claims pose a threat to both the South African people and the country’s economy. It points to issues such as the energy crisis, corruption, insufficient capacity in Transnet, cholera outbreaks, and the failure to provide clean water to households.