A few months back I posted an entry about my concerns with who South Africa is getting friendly with, specifically China. I haven't gotten into it, because honestly, chasing deadlines keeps me out of spending much time in the political goings-on. Recently I came across this article via another article in the Mail & Guardian. I'd definitely say it's worth a read, and it's something to be very concerned about.
The Washington Post article refers to a letter by President Mbeki addressing President Bush, asking him to butt out of the affairs of Africa. Um, excuse me?
See, this is what I'm thinking at the moment. That South Africa is siding with the likes of China, and other less than savoury nations for two reasons, one - they want a handout, and two, they don't want any prohibitive moral-high-ground conditions associated with it.
See, China doesn't care, it wants the minerals, and I believe South Africa (in its current political standing) will gladly give China what it wants. And China won't try parent or criticise South Africa because China is just as bad as Zimbabwe on the human rights abuses.
But why? Why won't South Africa tolerate any criticism (even good, well placed and helpful criticism). I think the reason is simple: pride. We're too proud to admit that things need fixing. We're too proud to admit that we might need help in fixing things, so what's the alternative - continue as before and sweep any issues under the rug. And that goes with: choosing friends who are more concerned with the offerings on the table, than the condition of the house being in order.
Well, the Washington Post article explains it better than I can, so check it out.