S. African Party Leader Slams 'Intimidating' US Foreign Policy, Calls for Multipolar World System

© AFP 2023 STEPHANE DE SAKUTINThis picture taken on June 27, 2013 shows the US and South African flags fluttering at Union Buildings in Pretoria.
This picture taken on June 27, 2013 shows the US and South African flags fluttering at Union Buildings in Pretoria.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 26.05.2023
The politician's remarks come in the wake of an ongoing diplomatic row between Pretoria and Washington regarding the US ambassador's claims that the Russian ship Lady R received weapons from South Africa at Simon's Town Naval Base in December 2022.
The US government's pressure campaign against countries that maintain relations with Russia shows Washington's intimidating behavior toward countries that do not toe its line, Solly Afrika Mapaila, the secretary general of the South African Communist Party (SACP), said in an interview with Sputnik.
In particular, he criticized US Ambassador to South Africa Reuben Brigety's allegation that a Russian ship, the Lady R, docked in Simons Town last December and was allegedly loaded with weapons to support Moscow in the Ukraine conflict as a means of "political pressure".
"In this case, despite their misguided conception of that ship sending weapons to Russia, basically, we can say Russia produces higher-caliber weapons than South Africa. If Russia were to get any weapons in this country, it would be minute and not critical for winning the war," Mapaila said.
Mapaila criticized the US "imperial system", stating that Washington have no respect for other countries. He further argued that their hegemonic Western civilization and system are not a universal system, and called it "condescending and disrespectful" to humanity.

"It’s quite condescending and disrespectful to all of humanity that the US continues to act in this way, yet they call themselves the land of liberty and freedom. And there is no freedom there. There is just simple dictatorship of the US government system. The president there can rule by decrees as much as he wants," he said. "And yet they are criticizing other countries’ more exertive authority of states, but only they can exercise that kind of authority of state."

A general view of the Russian military frigate Admiral Gorshkov docked at the port in Richards Bay on February 22, 2023.  - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 24.05.2023
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The South African politician explained that his country "will not accept to be bullied" by such behavior from US diplomats.
In regard to the recent allegations made by the US envoy to Pretoria, Mapaila revealed that delegates from his party, the SACP, along with the governing African National Congress (ANC), have met with Ambassador Brigety to indicate their displeasure with this kind of attitude.
"As you know, the South African currency went down quite dramatically the two days after the announcements by that ambassador. And they will not even apologize for it or even compensate for it," he stated. "So this is the attitude that they have."
Given the fact that Ambassador Brigety had later regretted not using correct diplomatic channels, Mapaila said that ignoring diplomatic protocol was not the only problem with Brigety's statement, but the content of the allegations and the US interference in the country's domestic affairs.
"They demonstrated that not only are they using the rogue intelligence system, they're actually investigating or surveilling our own ports and systems. It is unacceptable. They should receive that and check with us if they want to share intelligence with our state, and there should be appropriate channels of communication. But in this case, it's clear that they were just following anything from Russia docking in our ports, which is problematic," Mapaila explained.
The US never treats anyone as an equal, he argued, adding, "Equality is a paper they sign on, but upon the signing of the paper, they think that they are the superpower of the world, anyone must kowtow to them, bow to them, listen to them, do what they want, or else they punish you."
The politician referred to the US history of using coercive diplomacy and stated that he is not expecting anything less from them.
When asked about the reasons behind Washington's behavior, Mapaila said that he believes the situation can only be changed if countries work together to create a multipolar system.
He explained that a multipolar system would allow countries to work together in various ways, such as economic, political, diplomatic, and other forms, to undermine the hegemony of the West.
Although he admitted that progress towards this goal is slow, he remains hopeful.
"But that is why, for instance, we have always understood even the special military operation of Russia in Ukraine as a continuation of assertion of independence by Russia and a commitment towards multipolarity, and they’re still going to be cajoled by European and American interests," Mapaila added.
Commenting on how the US treats developing countries, particularly African countries, the SACP leader lamented that there's no equal partnership, stating that the US only offers concessions to African countries through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) system.
However, he noted that the concessions come with limitations, and African countries would lose these concessions if they don't comply with US conditions.
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Mapaila criticized the US's conditions, given the long history of "colonization, subjugation," and working for Europe and the US.
"Europe has actually become de facto America. It’s listening to everything that the Americans are saying. That's why I always keep on mentioning them in the same line. In a direct sense, there’s no equality at all from these countries on how they treat African countries," he argued.
On the African peace initiative in the Ukraine conflict led by South African President Ramaphosa, along with five other African heads of state, Mapaila commended the initiative, emphasizing his party's position on ending all "imperialist wars".
He reiterated that the Russian special military operation in Ukraine was a response to "imperialist aggression" and a provocation from the US to Russia and subsequently China.
"As you know, this special military operation is itself a response to imperialist aggression on Ukraine in order to provoke Russia and subsequently, China, because the two, if they come together, they will create a different multipolar world system. And this is what US politics and the Pentagon actually has expressed clearly in its meeting about the threat that they see in the world against the US hegemony," the South African politician said.
Mapaila called for peace initiatives that engage parties involved in the conflict and cited President Xi Jinping's 12-point peace plan that the US rejected without seeing it.
He explained that the US rejected the peace plan to continue promoting their hegemony "through aggression, and war, and control", which they can only achieve through war.