Written evidence submitted by Dr Anthony
I would suggest that the following issues be
addressed by the inquiry:
1. South Africa's role in Southern Africa
in relation to the crisis in Zimbabwe. Western and UK frustration
concerning the reluctance of Thabo Mbeki to go beyond quiet diplomacy
needs to be understood in relation to the regional dynamics of
the Zimbabwe crisis. South Africa has a strong motivation to maintain
stability in relations with Zimbabwe, given that a high proportion
of Zimbabwean migrants go to South Africa and much of South Africa's
trade with the rest of the region traverses Zimbabwe. South African
reluctance to impose sanctions needs to be understood in terms
of the possibility that Mugabe would respond by seeking to isolate
South Africa within SADC, thereby gaining leverage within the
2. A second critical element of regional
dynamics concerns the need for neighbouring countries to retain
effective working relationships with Harare. This demands understanding
of the impacts of the situation on each country in the region
and individual stances of each sovereign government towards Zimbabwe.
In Botswana, for example, key issues that inform foreign policy
towards Zimbabwe include cross-border crime, refuges, illegal
immigrants, HIV/AIDS, poverty and small arms trafficking. The
Botswana President, Festus Mogae, has characterised the crisis
in Zimbabwe as a result of a "drought of governance",
but said that "Botswana does not have the inclination or
the capacity to impose [its] will on other people".
3. The impacts of UK foreign policy in other
areas, especially the Middle East, on how the UK is perceived
and characterised by governments in Southern Africa needs investigation.
This may be beyond the remit of the inquiry, but arguably has
a fundamental impact on the effectiveness or otherwise of UK policies
in the region. Specifically, it may help to explain why SADC leaders,
despite the NEPAD and African Union ideals of peer review, have
refrained from public criticism of Zimbabwe despite mounting criticism
from the UK and other Western governments. UK foreign policy options
are severely constrained, and the case for quiet rather than `megaphone'
diplomacy with governments in Southern Africa is strong.
4. The UK-South Africa bilateral trading
relationship, and the regulatory environment governing the relationship,
is frequently confusing for many South African civil servants.
The Inquiry should consider how the FCO and the High Commission
could do more within South Africa to promote a better understanding
of the trade competencies of both the European Union and the United
5. The NEPAD partnership needs a more honest
and critical evaluation on behalf of the G8 and OECD, with a peer
review of G8 states and the approaches and achievements of those
states in relation to the promotion of NEPAD goals. Constructive
engagement in this critical area could lead to improved perceptions
of Western governments, which could (gradually) give them more
influence in promoting good governance and regional stability.
Mansfield College, Oxford