South Africa's Strategy of Creating Client States
The strategic objective of the South African racists with regard to the African continent is both short-term and long-term. It is to create client States among the independent African countries, with the aim of cutting off the South African national liberation movement from all sources of assistance; to compel such client States actively to participate in campaigns aimed at our destruction and the destruction of the faith of our oppressed and revolutionary people in the inevitability of liberation; and to ensure the preservation of apartheid by destroying the African National Congress (ANC), the decisive force on whose shoulders falls the task of liberating the African people of South Africa.
The strategy of creating client States is further aimed at cutting short Africa's strivings to establish for herself an independent and equal position in the world's economy and the international political system; at using these client States against other African States; and, ultimately, at maintaining Africa as South Africa's exclusive political and economic preserve. In this connection, special mention should be made of the attempt of the South African regime to establish a so-called "Southern African Common Market". A white South African apologist of apartheid has written:
"If allowed to proceed unhindered, developments in this area could lead to the creation of a new multinational giant, the Europe of Africa, which will one day exercise a profound influence on developments in Africa, if not in the world."
The centre of gravity of this combination would be the white South African minority regime.
White South Africa uses many and diverse means in the attempt to fulfil her objectives. To begin with, South Africa is economically the most powerful country in Africa. On the other hand, the peoples of Africa, especially in the sub-Saharan part, on the basis of continental comparisons, have the lowest standard of living in the world. The South African racists seek to exploit this situation to their advantage.
Trade Relations to make Africa Dependent
In the first instance, they seek to expand trade relations with the rest of Africa. South Africa's exports to Africa more than doubled between the years 1964 and 1968, while her imports from Africa grew by about a third.
We need to draw attention to two points regarding these trade relations. First, relative to the rest of the continent, South Africa in the period mentioned - and, I am certain, up to the present - enjoyed a favourable balance of payments. This, of course, necessitates that the African countries must find foreign exchange to settle their debts. South Africa takes advantage of this situation by offering credits to these countries to buy South African goods. The African countries are then faced with the task of periodically servicing their debt to South Africa.
Second, South Africa uses Africa as her market for manufactured goods. If, for instance, we take three categories of South African exports, namely, chemicals, machinery and transport equipment, and miscellaneous manufactured goods, we find that by 1968 Africa was taking 75 percent of South Africa's total exports in these categories. On the other hand, in the same year, Africa exported to South Africa only about 1.5 percent of South Africa's requirements of goods in these categories. This means that South Africa maintains the classical trade relations between an imperialist country and its colonies. The African countries serve South Africa as sources for cheap raw materials and markets for her expensive manufactured goods.
In all, these trade relations increase Africa's dependence on South Africa and help maintain the African economies at a low level of development. The South African racists further strive to entrench these trade relations by signing agreements, binding on both signatories for an agreed period, as they have done in the case of Malawi.
Aid and Investment to Entrench Dependence
In the second instance, the South African policy of aid and investment has also been designed to entrench these tendencies of perpetual dependence. Funds exported by South Africa go first to the development of raw material extraction and secondly to the development of the infrastructure.
South Africa already has large investments in mining in all the countries of southern Africa. Her companies have reached even as far north as Mauretania where, in cooperation with French capital, South African money and technique is used in the mining of copper. South African companies are already prospecting for bauxite and other minerals in Malawi. Newspaper reports have also stated that South African companies, again in cooperation with French capital, are investigating mining possibilities in Malagasy. South Africa, again in cooperation with France, is wooing Mauritius and dangling the prospect of big loans and investments before the Mauritian Government. Mr. Sean Gervasi, an economist at Oxford University, has stated:
"Total (South African) investments in Africa were in the hundreds of millions at the beginning of the 1960s. They have probably more than doubled since then."
I have said that South Africa is helping with the financing of the infrastructure in some of these countries. Currently, of course, the most notable of such projects is the Cabora Bassa scheme in Mozambique which is largely South African-financed and designed to generate electricity for a host of countries in the area, including Mozambique, Angola and Malawi. But the Governments of Zambia and Tanzania have both condemned the scheme and taken steps to preclude any Zambian or Tanzanian participation it.
South Africa also lent Malawi £6 million (US$16.8 million) for the construction of a railway line terminating at Port Nacala in Mozambique. She is building an important road through Namibia to Angola's seaport, Luanda, and a gas pipeline from Mozambique to South Africa. Further, she has signed an agreement with Malagasy to open an air route between the two countries, as well as maintain and fly Malagasy's aircraft on that route. If I may quote Sean Gervasi again:
"All these changes create new links which are essentially ones of dependence for those with whom South Africa deals."
And, let me add, dependence means absence of independence.
Apartheid Needs Expansion
It is necessary to point out that the economic processes I have just described, dealing with South Africa's external economic relations, are organically linked with apartheid in so far as it is an internal, South African system of economic relations. As a system, one of whose central features is the super-exploitation of the African people, apartheid results in certain economic consequences.
One of these is that since the earnings of the African majority are kept at the bare minimum level, the internal market for industrial goods is extremely limited. This is particularly important in the situation which obtains today wherein manufacturing contributes more to the gross domestic product than mining and agriculture.
Mining and agriculture have, of course, been traditionally export-oriented. A limited home market was therefore of no material significance to their development. The contrary is however the case with regard to manufacturing. The restricted nature of the home market acts as a fetter on the development of this sector. Hence the necessity for South Africa to find external markets for her manufactured goods.
The second of these economic consequences is that very low wages mean very high profit rates. South Africa, therefore, generates the bulk of her investment funds internally. In 1969, for instance, the ratio of net capital flow from the rest of the world to gross domestic investment was only 3.2 per cent. Over a period of time, however, the influx of capital from abroad adds up to large amounts. In the period from 1956 to 1968, direct investment from abroad alone amounted to about two billion dollars.
What attracts such large funds is the factor of very low wages, and correspondingly, very high profit rates. During the years 1960 to 1965, for example, returns on British investment in South Africa were consistently "almost 50 per cent higher than those on the average British direct investment overseas". The same can be said of United States investments in South Africa. Given the high savings rate in South Africa, the vast inflow of foreign capital and the restricted internal market, a situation arises in which South Africa finds herself burdened with an "embarrassment of riches". She, therefore, exports her "excess" capital. Thus it is that South Africa's internal economic processes are organically linked with the external. The super-exploitation of the black people in South Africa is at once the basis of the South African economy and the objective reason for South Africa's quest for external markets for her "excess" capital.
The external relations are clearly the relations of domination and exploitation because, firstly, they are dictated by the objective requirements of the most powerful economy on the African continent; and, secondly, because they are designed and intended to serve the exclusive economic and political interests of the white South African racist minority and not those of the African people, inside or outside Africa. If we take the nature and duration of the economic relations between the United States and South America as a timely parallel to South Africa's relations of domination and exploitation in Africa, then we cannot possibly ignore the stern of the South African racist regime is to "South Americanise" Africa. And God forbid that Africa, in whole or in part, should be surrendered to these heartless racists and condemned to such a horrifying disaster by any African leader or group of leaders.
Import of Black Manpower
It is worth remembering that South Africa "imports" manpower from Africa. In mining alone, last year, black workers from outside South Africa constituted 70 per cent of the total African labour force. This system of "importation" of African labour, at highly exploitative wage rates, is as cruel as it is a criminal rape of Africa's manpower. The youth is seized from developing African countries in its prime; it is used mercilessly in the interests of South Africa's mining magnates; and it is then returned home a spent force, as poor as it had left and bringing no wealth for the development of its countries and peoples. As a system which "is leading away from industrialisation and not towards it", and which does not create job opportunities in the countries of origin, it condemns not only the present, but also the future generations to dependence on South Africa. Small wonder that Zambia has decreed against Zambians working in the South African mines.
Military Strategy of the Racist Regime
We are familiar with the definition of war as the continuation of politics by other means. I have already said that South Africa's policy in Africa is that of creating client States, of making Africa her own sphere of political and economic domination. The white man in South Africa has been preparing and continues to prepare for war, for a continuation of his political policy by other means.
The racist regime's military strategy falls into two parts. Firstly, the regime has adopted a military posture aimed at keeping the white-dominated south of Africa intact, while simultaneously pushing the regime's military defence line far to the north, thus creating a system of buffer States around itself. Secondly, it has made preparations to strike against the independent countries to the north, in terms of what the Israelis, who maintain military contacts with racist South Africa, call "the doctrine of anticipatory counterattack" or "carrying the war into enemy territory", to quote General Allon, Israel's Deputy Prime Minister. The parallels between Israel and South Africa are, of course, obvious. The difference, however, is that whereas Israel needed to go to war in order to capture and occupy Arab territory, South Africa did not have to do so in the case of Namibia, which she now stubbornly refuses to relinquish despite the United Nations decision terminating her mandate. South Africa's military presence in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola is by agreement with the sister colonial and racist regimes of Portugal and Rhodesia, members with South Africa, of the economic, political, military and intelligence Unholy Alliance. Just as Israel has been conducting acts of aggression against the Arab countries, using captured territory as her base, so will South Africa use her buffer States for "anticipatory counterattack".
She has furthermore built a major military base in the Caprivi Strip, in the northernmost tip of Namibia, one thousand miles from her own borders with Namibia. From this base she can strike, quickly and suddenly, at countries far to her north, as President Kaundalater President. Chairman of the OAU, 1970-71 and of the Non-Aligned movement, 1970-74. has repeatedly warned. Only last year, the world was informed by a South African Cabinet Minister that the new airport being built in Lilongwe, Malawi, would be open to aircraft of the South African Air Force. The Minister subsequently published a diplomatic denial of the statement. But South Africa openly maintains a military attache's office in Malawi.
Western Military Support to South Africa
The logistic support for South Africa's military plans and activities has come from Western Powers including, in particular, France and Britain.
In the matter of supply of arms to the murderous racists, France has behaved like a country of people accustomed to kill with blissful callousness, people for whom the life of a black man is something that is "neither here nor there". In view of France's long history of nonracialism, the zeal and zest with which she arms self-confessed killers and racists is difficult to explain. But what is even more surprising is the speechless silence of those African States which have had the longest and closest association with France. Their silence is puzzling and mysterious.
President Kaunda led an OAU delegation to ask the French Government not to supply weapons to the racist murderers. But the French people, including the French workers, seem determined to arm Vorster and Smith to the teeth. What could France's interest be other than "to hamper the freedom and independence of Africa and to compromise the liberation of the colonies on the African continent", as President Sekou Toure has said of the recent aggression against Guinea? Or, in the words of Major-General Yakubu Gowon, to help colonising adventurers to organise attacks similar to that against Guinea and other independent African countries, "with a view to recolonising Africa"? This, it seems, is what lies behind France's arrogant sale of arms to South Africa and Britain's decision to resume the sale of arms.
The British Government, which created and maintains the racist regimes in southern Africa, has had a great deal to say about its obligations to supply arms to South Africa under the Simonstown Agreements. It stresses the defence of sea routes against a supposed Soviet naval threat. But Mr. Heath's numerous statements on this issue are significant for what they carefully omit to mention. The African people's opposition to the sale of arms or to further strengthening of the South African regime even by half a frigate is in regard to southern Africa and, consequently, the whole continent.
The Simonstown Agreements
The Simonstown Agreements do not relate to sea routes only. They are, first and foremost, agreements about southern Africa itself. An aide memoire sent by the South African Government to the British Government, dated May 20, 1970, states as follows:
"For their part, the South African Government have consistently viewed the exchange of letters of 30 June, 1955, in the context of the fundamentally important policy statement agreed on between the two Governments in the first paragraph of the Memorandum of Understanding contained in the first of the letters. It was there agreed that southern Africa and the sea routes round southern Africa must be secured against aggression from without. The fourth paragraph of the Understanding provides that in order to implement this policy the lines of communication and logistic support in and around southern Africa must be adequately and securely defended."
As to whether the letters dated June 30, 1955, and referred to by the South African Government, are correct, we have it on the authority of the Law Officers of the Crown for England and Wales that "these (Simonstown) Agreements are contained in exchanges of letters dated 30 June, 1955".
The Simonstown Agreements are, therefore, not only about sea routes; they are also about the "security" of southern Africa"; they are about "adequate and securely defended" "communication and logistic support in and around southern Africa"; they are also about sea routes, not one sea route, around a number of countries which constitute southern Africa.
The Simonstown Agreements commit Britain to defend southern Africa jointly with South Africa against what the two parties may consider to be "aggression from without". J.B. Vorster regards the armed struggle in Zimbabwe, Angola and Mozambique as "aggression from without". Britain's stubborn decision to supply arms to South Africa may well turn out to be the tip of a vast iceberg of joint activities relating to southern Africa.
How else are we to explain the extraordinary timing of this decision, taken in the International Year for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination, when the race issue is mounting in Britain, when apartheid has been legalised in Rhodesia, and when apartheid in South Africa has reached new heights? How are we to explain the fact that Mr. Heath decides to go ahead with the supply of arms at the risk of destroying the Commonwealth and ruining Britain's relations with Africa? What colossal plan is the delivery of seven helicopters a part of? Whatever it is, the British Government, faced with a choice between the requirements of a fascist white regime and the will of hundreds of millions of people in Africa, in Britain and all over the world, has elected to stand in firm solidarity with the racists. As to Britain's future role in the unfolding revolution in southern Africa, the writing is on the wall for all Africa to see.
But we must place it on record that the defence of southern Africa, and of the sea routes around it, is not the business of white minority settler regimes. It is the business of the black people of Africa.
The Simonstown Agreements are about the independent and sovereign people of Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland. If these agreements are valid, they are dangerous. What is more, they offer some explanation for Britain's resolute refusal to use force against rebel Smith. It is to hide their true content that the British Government has sought to present the Simonstown Agreements, concluded nearly sixteen years ago, as an answer to a Soviet naval threat, thus falling in line with South Africa's oft-repeated defence of apartheid as being a bastion of Western defence against communism.
Diplomatic and Political Offensive
The former NATO Deputy Chief of Staff, and current Director of the French Institute of Strategic Studies, General Beaufre, sees the problem of setting up a "vast block in southern Africa", assured "not only of prosperity, but also stability", as being "above all, to achieve the psychological conditions of friendly cohabitation... of different races". Beaufre goes on to say:
"A South African policy which does not disarm (the opposition to apartheid from the Third World)... by some well conceived reforms and by a big information effort, risks allowing a hostile atmosphere to build up and to harden."
South Africa had, of course, already understood the meaning of the French General's words very clearly while proceeding from the position that, as South African Cabinet Minister Uys said, "the stronger we are, the less they can touch us...". The South African racists also knew that strength alone is not sufficient to ensure friendly cohabitation; and that there must also be a big information effort and the preparation of the psychological conditions which will remove the opposition from the Third World. Hence it is that South Africa launched a big diplomatic and political offensive, directed primarily at Africa. She says to Africa:
"We want to have good relations; we want to pursue a policy of peaceful coexistence; we want fruitful cooperation with you on the basis of non-interference in the internal affairs of one another's country."
Last year, South Africa offered to conclude a non-aggression treaty with any country in Africa that so wished. In return South Africa offers to assist "in the development and prosperity of Africa", as Vorster put it. Vorster went on:
"Providence has been very good to us in Africa and we want to return to Africa something of this... This is the spirit that inspires us - and that is the spirit that will conquer Africa".
That indeed was the spirit that conquered Malawi. Not content with these overtures, South Africa put out the idea of a dialogue. This idea was carried by the South African Foundation to Paris, and thence to Africa.
I have only a brief statement to make on the question of a dialogue, and I make it in the knowledge that I express the unanimous views of 18 million oppressed blacks in South Africa. The position is that we don't want a dialogue at this stage and we will not need one in the foreseeable future. We very much appreciate our brothers proposing a dialogue as a useful tactic. But now that they know the mind of the oppressed on this question, we are confident that they will drop the idea. I hope that this brief statement closes the issue of dialogue and that there will be no further reference to it hereafter.
South Africa's determination to win Africa for herself does not, of course, stop at the methods I have described. She is not loathe to interfere in various countries, using psychological warfare, terror and subversion. She does not hesitate to help send that most brutal product of decadent Western society, mercenaries, to any country which seems to offer her a chance of installing a government of hirelings and collaborators. Her intelligence service is worldwide and a growing network is spreading over the African continent. Radio South Africa and other agencies simultaneously conduct a powerful propaganda campaign aimed at denigrating the OAU, belittling the achievements of the peoples of Africa, and exploiting the slightest difficulties in Africa to encourage the formation of unpatriotic groups and then to incite these groups into action.
Above all, with the loud trumpeting of South Africa's strength internally and her influence externally, and with sneers at Africa's weaknesses, she tries to terrorise and demoralise the Governments and peoples of Africa, to cow them into submission and compel their acceptance of economic, political and other arrangements which, in their essence, would be what President Sekou Toure has described as those "between the horse and its rider".
Allies of the Apartheid Regime
The struggle for black majority rule in southern Africa is a struggle not only in the interests of the freedom, independence and progress of all the African peoples, but is also one waged in opposition to a powerful combination of allies - the allies of Portugal, Rhodesia and racist South Africa. In their continental strategy these allies realise that South Africa is both their strength and their weakness, both their most powerful single striking force and their most important single vulnerable link. This, therefore, results in countries such as the United States, Britain, France, West Germany and others having African policies aimed simultaneously at strengthening Africa's enemy, apartheid South Africa, and striving to blunt and deflect Africa's offensive against the enemy in her midst. This is a policy which necessarily means that Africa's own interests take a secondary position in the diplomatic and political calculations of the West.
Only a few days ago, Sir Seretse Khama, the President of Botswana, stated:
"Questions of aid and investment are important... "But the guts of the relationship between Africa and America is race, and hence southern Africa."
Africa cannot afford to entertain illusions on this score.
Already the West's approach to Africa is organised around the central issue of the defence of the white-dominated South, its most important economic and military base on the African continent. Africa, for her part, cannot afford to deal with the question of southern Africa as if it were the last, and an incidental, point in the complex of her relations with the rest of the world. It seems clear to us that not until South Africa is free, not until this Western base for the recolonisation and domination of Africa is rooted out, will Africa's own unique and pressing problems of progress and consolidation of independence come into their own.
Africa cannot simultaneously be really healthy and strong and continue to harbour in her body politic the cancerous growth that is apartheid South Africa and her allies in the white-dominated South. Apartheid is to Africa not a moral question, but a question of survival.
Support the Liberation Movement
What, then, is to be done?
If the South African racist regime appears to have embarked on an offensive against independent Africa, its operations against the liberation movement in South Africa are intensive, and the persecution and torture of activists is ceaseless. And yet it is in South Africa that the struggle against the regime must be fought and won. The dominant role must of necessity be played by the black masses; and they are responding to their responsibilities.
The activities of the relatively few of them who are outside South Africa must be geared to the active support of the internal struggle which, while it has not changed in content, has now clearly assumed the form of a struggle by the black people against their white oppressors and exploiters for the seizure of power and the repossession of their land. With the conquest of political power by the oppressed blacks in South Africa, racism will have been dealt a deadly blow.
But victory against a well-prepared, well-equipped, well-organised and determined enemy demands more than courage and a willingness to sacrifice - none of which are lacking, as history shows. It also requires that support for the liberation movement in South Africa should receive a degree of priority that the ANC lost on the day the OAU was formed - a paradoxical reality.
The International Year for Action to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination should certainly be the occasion for remedying a situation in which material support has progressively diminished as the demand for it has increased. Today this demand stands higher than at any previous time and support stands at its lowest. We shall conquer still, but it will be "that much harder", and will take us "that much longer", to fulfil our tactical and strategic objectives. Our problems in this regard are bound to have an adverse effect on the pace of progress of the struggle in the rest of southern Africa. African States Must Take Counteractions
With regard to the rest of Africa, it would seem that the best form of defence against racist South Africa's onslaught is to go on the offensive on a wide range of counteractions. In particular, countries committed to the defeat of white minority regimes should establish embassies in the independent African States bordering on their territories and give full diplomatic, economic and material assistance to these States which will be the first victims of apartheid violence when the tide of revolution hits the shores of racism.
In this connection it seems inevitable that Africa should begin now to build her military power as an essential part of her development programmes. The idea of an African High Command may be difficult of attainment. But a beginning must be made and is being made. In the meantime, Africa's youth in each country should be prepared for service in the national armed forces of each State, which must be built to maximum strength.
Finally, apartheid is a threat to Africa's survival because, inter alia, it feeds on and is sustained by the nature of South Africa's relations with powerful Western countries. Africa should redefine her relations with these and other countries on the basis of their stand and their policies on issues central to the cause and destiny of Africa. Racism ranks high in the list of such issues.