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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

DA letter: Disguised call to ‘invade SA with Western influence’ – expert

DA leader's plea for US oversight of South African elections prompts debate over motives.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) leader John Steenhuisen’s call for the United States to monitor the upcoming general election in South Africa is a disguised call for the US to invade the country and put it under the Western influence.

Independent political analyst Sandile Swana said the DA stance actually was meant to encourage the US and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (Nato) to prepare to invade South Africa militarily to force it into settler colonialism.

IEC has an ‘excellent reputation’

However, US embassy spokesperson David Feldmann told The Citizen the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) has an “excellent reputation”.

“South Africa is a sovereign democracy that runs its own electoral processes,” said Feldmann.

“While South Africa’s elections have generally been free and fair, the DA’s letter is seen as insinuating that the IEC lacks the ability to run a smooth election.”

ALSO READ: US Embassy praises IEC’s ability to conduct free and fair elections

But, according to North-West University international relations and foreign policy scholar Dominic Maphaka, the US would not listen to Steenhuisen and risk jeopardising its relations with South Africa to please the DA.

The experts reacted to Steenhuisen’s request for US monitoring of elections in May to guard against “malign forces” that could help the ANC win back power.

‘Disappointing but not surprising’

Maphaka said it was “disappointing but not surprising” that the DA was still out of step with the country’s stance on international issues.

“This call is invalid and is in keeping with the contradictory posture that the DA is taking in foreign affairs. The party has on many occasions defined itself outside the country’s foreign policy posture,” Maphaka said.

He recalled how Steenhuisen was critical of the ANC’s non-aligned stance on the Russia-Ukraine war, but his party would not condemn Israeli actions in Gaza.

ALSO READ: WATCH: DA says US letter not meant to undermine IEC’s ability to run elections

The obsession with the US could be explained by colonial history and the fact that people of European descent regarded SA as a colonial subject that had been subsumed to Western interests, wishes, and preferences.

However, the “US is unlikely to listen or even respond to such a politicking stance”, Maphaka said.

Swana said the DA’s plan was to make SA an enclave of the Western influence on the African continent in the same way that Israel was an enclave of the “US-Nato axis” in the Middle East.

“So the wishes of the majority population regarding what international relations they want to pursue, need to be undermined. From the DA’s point of view, excellence is measured by Western standards,” Swana said.

DA wrote to US secretary of state Antony Blinken

The DA wrote to US secretary of state Antony Blinken, claiming there was “an increasing willingness by the ANC to forge alliances with malign international actors, whose regimes are characterised by tyranny, terror and oppression”.

ALSO READ: WATCH: DA trying to ‘mortgage’ our democracy to the US – Ramaphosa

The letter, written by the DA’s shadow minister of international relations, Emma Powell, told Blinken that the recent establishment of uMkhonto weSizwe (MK) party presented a risk to peace.

According to Swana, when the DA mentioned the “malign forces” it referred to Russia and China and other countries that were US enemies.

“So the DA is taking a cold war mentality that South Africa must be rescued from getting into the Eastern bloc and aligning itself with the enemies of the United States and Nato. Rather, South Africa can be rescued and put into the Western colonial fold.”

The DA manoeuvres envisage the imminent possibility that its Moonshot Pact or Multi-Party Charter was unlikely to get over 40% in May, which was short of the 50% plus one threshold that would allow it to govern.

The DA ultimately seeks to forestall a left leaning alliance that could pass expropriation of land without compensation legislation by introducing the US-Nato axis election monitors, who may declare the election not to be substantially free and fair.

ALSO READ: ANC is up in arms over DA’s ‘provocative’ letter to the United States

Additional reporting by Faizel Patel

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