would have expected in the 1980s – that avid golf players would have had enough of a conscience to restrain themselves from playing at Sun City until the masses in South Africa had won their freedom.
But how many South Africans even realise that revolutionary consciousness should preclude them from holidaying in Marrakesh?
At an official level anyway, South Africa continues to be the torch bearer for a struggle that is mired in indifference.
But however “unsexy” the Saharawi struggle may seem, it is to South Africa’s credit that it takes such strong positions on principle and in the name of human rights.
When Ramaphosa delivered his ANC January 8 statement, he had specifically referred to Western Sahara as one of the ANC’S foreign policy priorities. As president, he is living up to that commitment.
This week Ramaphosa hosted President Brahim Ghali of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in Pretoria.
Few may have taken cognisance of the significance of this visit, which was cloaked in revolutionary solidarity, no less than if the president of the Palestinian Authority had been ushered down the red carpet. Ramaphosa didn’t hesitate to emphatically say to his counterpart: “Our freedom and your freedom are indivisible.”
The two agreed to deepen relations and strengthen co-operation, with South Africa even going as far as to pledge humanitarian assistance to help the Saharawis in refugee camps.
Ramaphosa also expressed concern for ongoing human rights abuses by the Moroccan authorities.
At a policy level, the two presidents agreed that with the admission of Morocco into the African Union, it has an obligation to adhere to the principles and goals enshrined in the AU Constitutive Act, especially the need to respect colonial borders as they existed at the time of independence.
In January the AU passed a resolution calling on both parties to engage without preconditions in direct and serious talks to end conflict.
The continued delay in finding a solution to the conflict has dire humanitarian consequences for the people, and is an impediment to greater regional integration and security co-operation in the region.
SA supports both the AU and the UN’S call for an end to the illegal exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the Western Sahara, and discourages foreign companies from engaging in such activities.
Our position is that the AU must implement its decision to lead an international campaign against any companies and multinationals involved in such exploitative practices.
More recently, we have managed to turn our solidarity with the Saharawi cause into somewhat of a tangible boycott.
The South African government is not in favour of the South African Football Association backing
Morocco for the 2026 Soccer World Cup. This week the Safa Council decided not to back Morocco.
This means Morocco won’t have a united African bid behind them, despite the fact that they have tried to buy the support of Africans.
The Moroccans were relying on the Confederation of African Football President Ahmad to support their bid. The Moroccans had backed Ahmad with generous grants for CAF events to ensure all 54 African states would vote for them. It seems their campaign has failed.
As they say, the struggle continues.