South Africa's Foreign Policy Analysis

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2. Background on South Africa`s Foreign Policy
South Africa`s foreign policy has been largely shaped and influenced by the historical events that occurred in the past. From the era of apartheid system to the present democratic regime, South Africa`s foreign policy experienced dramatic changes and from each successive Presidency there has been immense challenges in terms of its approaches and its place on the international community. Therefore, South Africa`s foreign policy is profoundly characterised by the successive presidential administrations, comprising of; the apartheid administration and from the democratic era, Mandela administration, Thabo Mbeki administration and the Zuma administration. As Marthoz (2013) argues that each administration
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Marthoz (2013) contends that during that era South Africa was under authoritarian system that secured white interests and promoted a hostile foreign policy and domestic policies. The apartheid government carried out racist and unjust policies that supressed and violated human rights. From 1994 the democratic era South Africa transformed its foreign policy and adopted liberal ideas that promoted democracy, advocating a more peacekeeping and peace building state; however it was not entirely successful. Marthoz (2013) highlight this by referring to the fact that in present moment South Africa`s foreign policy seems rather self-contradictory, in that it is divided between ethics and interests, liberal internationalist and national sovereignty that promotes authoritarian system on the other side. Marthoz (2013) further advocates on the continued failure of the ANC to deliver its promises to the mass which affects its foreign policy and by this contradiction, the ANC favours a populist and anti-imperialist system on the other side it supports a pragmatist and realistic foreign policy. Another factor that decides South Africa`s realist foreign policy is the fact that the African continent constitutes countries of armed conflict, arbitrary rule, migration, illegal trade and transnational crime which inescapably pervade …show more content…
This era was therefore marked by liberalist approach and values. However from Marthoz`s (2013) view South Africa had to create a new foreign policy and President at that time, Nelson Mandela proclaimed an ethical foreign policy that was destined to launch South Africa as a classic global citizen. However to define Liberalism, Chau (2009) refers to that liberalism as moral and political philosophy is concentrated on two central principles-which are liberty and individualism. On this regard, a liberalist approach puts the individual at the core of society and secondly the drive of society is to permit individuals to stretch their full potential. In short liberalists promote peace and cooperation in the international arena. Therefore South Africa played prominent part as a peacemaker and peacekeeper in the African region (Marthoz,