Cape Town — Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor, says South Africa does not want to end ties with the US after the US Congress passed a bill reviewing the relationship between the two countries.
Pandor was speaking at the exhibition football clash between the Palestinian National Team and the South African Invitational Team.
The announcement came after the US Congress said they were going to review the relationship between the US and South Africa, with the US exercising its democratic rights, EWN reported.
“This is their democratic right to do. I believe we have a valuable and good relationship in trade and people to people exchange, and I don’t see why that should be harmed. The United States has often shared with us their belief in human rights in freedom and democracy. That is all that South Africa is upholding.” the report quoted Pandor as saying.
Minister Naledi Pandor expresses #SouthAfrica‘s commitment to US relations amidst concerns over a bill calling for a review of ties over alleged support for terrorism. The #US Congress bill could impact trade and diplomacy. #SouthAfricaUSRelations #I… https://t.co/qLNDXmksaL
— Cape Frontier (@CapeFrontier) February 12, 2024
The US Congress introduced a bill that reviewed its ties with South Africa after the drafters attempt to associate the government with terrorism and the atrocious attack against civilians in Israel.
The bill was introduced by US Republican congressman John James and Democratic Party congressman Jared Moskowitz, Mail and Guardian said.
The bill accuses the ANC of acting inconsistent with its publicly stated policy of nonalignment in international affairs. It states that the South African Government has a history of siding with maligned actors, including Hamas and Russia. It argues that the South African government’s support of Hamas dates back to 1994, when the ANC first came into power, taking a hardline stance of consistently accusing Israel of apartheid.
Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said that it would be “most unfortunate” for South Africa-US relations if this bill ever sees the light of day.
“Following the ICJ ruling on our application, the argument that our case was wrongful or politically motivated can no longer be sustained. Neither is the attempt to whitewash the severity of devastation and loss of human life in Gaza,” he said.
Our bilateral relationship with the US remains robust. We have engaged at various levels of leadership to establish at least an appreciation of our position on geopolitical issues. And we will continue to do so to strengthen our bilateral ties,” he added.
Compiled by Matthew Petersen