South Africa

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Overview
<p> Due to colonization by the British Empire and subsequent immigration waves and territory adjustments, South Africa is ethnically, religiously, linguistically, and culturally diverse. Although originally settled by speakers of the Khosian language, South Africa was populated mainly by Bantu, who migrated from central Africa. The Nguni joined these two groups in 1488, around the time the Portuguese arrived on the Cape of Good Hope. Permanent European settlement began in 1652, when the Dutch East India Company established a trading post, and over the next few decades, French, Dutch and German settlers arrived. These three groups combined to form the Afrikaner or Boer ethnic group. In the 18th and 19th century, the Boers came into conflict with the native populations as well as the British, who had gained control of the country. Although Boer republics were established, by the late 1800s, early 1900s, the republics were subsumed into the British Empire after several conflicts.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Racial separation, characterized politically as apartheid, came to define South Africa in the 20th century. Beginning in 1912, a series of restrictive policies were passed, which led to political, cultural, and social transformations of the population. Racism became standard in South Africa during the 1900s. Political groups, including the African National Congress (ANC), mobilized to combat such restrictions. Forced to go underground, the ANC was finally granted legality in February 1990. The first multi-racial elections were held in 1994 and Nelson Mandela was elected as president. Although the economy rebounded and the past policies of racial segregation were repealed, today there is still evidence of long-held racism.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Post-apartheid South Africa has come to epitomize democracy in Africa. When Mandela assumed the presidency, South Africa began its recovery from external sanctions and internal conflict. Foreign investment and privatization have aided in the recovery of the economy. South Africa is now well integrated into the global economy. South Africa is a leading supplier of several &ldquo;strategic minerals,&rdquo; including gold, diamonds, manganese, chromium, antimony, vermiculite, vanadium and platinum.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: The Republic of South Africa sprawls across the foot of the African continent. The Indian Ocean washes the east coast of the country, and the Atlantic borders the west coast. The two oceans merge south of the port city of Cape Town.</p> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 48.8 million</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Christian (Catholic and traditional Protestant) 56.8%, African Independent Churches (Christian, predominantly Pentecostal and Zionist) 26%, Ethnoreligious 9.0%, non-religious 3.0%, Muslim 2.5%, Hindu 2.4%, Baha&rsquo;i 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%, Buddhist 0.1%.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: black African 79%, white 9.6%, mixed 8.95, Indian/Asian 2.5%.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Zulu (official) 21.6%, Xhosa (official) 16.9%, Afrikaans (official) 13.6%, Northern Sotho (official) 8.6%, English (official) 8.1%, Tswana (official) 7.7%, Southern Sotho (official) 7.3%, Tsonga (official) 4.2%, Swati (official) 2.3%, Venda (official) 2.1%, Hindi 2.1%, Ndebele (official) 1.4%. There are 24 living languages in South Africa.</div>
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History
<p> South Africa has been populated for thousands of years, most notably by speakers of the Khosian language, who continue to inhabit the western part of the country. The Bantu make up the largest part of South African&rsquo;s population today, and migrated southward from central Africa, settling in the Transvaal region sometime before 100 AD.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1500, the Nguni, an ethnic group descended from the Zulu and Xhosa, occupied most of the eastern coast of South Africa. Around the same time, the Portuguese arrived, landing at the Cape of Good Hope in 1488.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Permanent European settlement did not begin until 1652, when the Dutch East India Company established a case on the Cape. Over the next few decades, French, Huguenots, Dutch, and German settlers arrived and established settlements. Through inter-marriage, they formed the Afrikaner portion of the country&rsquo;s population.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1779, European settlements extended beyond the southern part of the Cape and eastward. Friction between Dutch settlers and the native Xhosa population led to the first frontier war in the 18th century. By the end of the century, the British had gained control of the region, sparking conflict between the Afrikaners and the English.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1836, many Afrikaners, also known as Boers, began to move northward in what came to be known as the Great Trek. This was partially to escape British rule and partially to protest the recent abolition of slavery. The Great Trek brought the Dutch into conflict with the Zulu, who had conquered much territory between the Drakensberg Mountains and the sea.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1828, Shaka Zulu, leader of the tribe, was assassinated and replaced by his brother <span>Dingane. Dingane did not last long as a leader, however. In 1838, he was defeated and deported by the Voortrekkers (the people who had undergone the Great Trek). </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1852 and 1854, the independent Boer Republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, respectively, were established, which brought further strain on British relations. In 1870, diamonds were discovered at Kimberly, and in 1886, gold was discovered in the Witwatersrand region of the Transvaal. This led to increased immigration and investment in the region, especially by Europeans. Many blacks also moved to the area to work in the mines.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> But as more people of differing cultures moved into the region, friction between the Boers and the British intensified. From 1880-1881 and 1899-1902, two Anglo-Boer Wars were fought, with the British prevailing. As a result, the two Boer republics were incorporated into the British Empire. In May 1910, the two republics were added to the British colonies of the Cape and Natal to form the Union of South Africa, which gained self-government under the administration of the British Empire. All political power was consolidated in the hands of whites.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1912, the South Africa National Congress was founded, and eventually became known as the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC&rsquo;s primary goals were the elimination of restrictions based on color and the establishment of parliamentary representation for blacks. The government, however, continued to pass laws that limited rights and freedoms of blacks.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1948, the National Party (NP) won the all-white election and began to pass legislation that enforced an even stronger policy of racial separation known as apartheid (&ldquo;separateness&rdquo;). By the early 1960s, a protest turned violent as 69 protestors were killed by police. Afterwards, the ANC and Pan-African Congress (PAC) were banned. ANC leader Nelson Mandela and others were imprisoned on charges of treason. During the next several decades, the ANC and PAC went underground, continuing to fight for freedom through the use of guerilla warfare and sabotage.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In May 1961, South Africa became a republic, and withdrew from the British Commonwealth because of international protests against apartheid. The United Nations urged countries doing business with South Africa to divest themselves. The UK-led Anti-Apartheid Movement began in 1964 to urge lawmakers to pass sanctions and other measures designed to punish South Africa for apartheid. The US government, which had previously resisted cracking down on the South African government because of its help in fighting communist movements throughout southern Africa, began to impose trade sanctions against the country once celebrities and political leaders lobbied Congress for a change in US foreign policy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1984, South Africa adopted a new constitution which allowed blacks and Asians a limited role in the national government. However, all power remained in the hands of whites. Black townships responded with a series of uprisings. Two of these in particular helped to convince the government that change was needed. Secret discussions between government officials and Mandela began in 1986, and in February 1990, President FW de Klerk announced that the ANC and PAC were no longer banned. All similar anti-apartheid groups enjoyed similar freedom to operate. Two weeks later, Mandela was released from prison.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1991, the Group Areas Act, Land Acts, and the Population Registration Act&mdash;three laws that had come to be called the &ldquo;pillars of apartheid&rdquo;&mdash;were abolished. After protracted negotiations, a new constitution was adopted in December 1993. From April 26-28,1994, South Africa held its first non-racial elections, and Mandela was elected president on May 10.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Following the 1994 elections, the country was governed under an interim constitution that established a Government of National Unity (GNU). The Constitutional Assembly drafted a permanent constitution that was signed into law on December 10, 1996 and went into effect on February 3, 1997. The ANC, the NP, and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) shared power in the new government, and in June 1996, the NP withdrew from the GNU to form the opposition.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> During Mandela&rsquo;s five-year term as president, South Africa committed itself to reforming the country. Social issues like unemployment, housing shortages, and crime became new focuses, and Mandela&rsquo;s government began to reintroduce the country to the global economy by implementing a market-driven economic plan known as Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR). Additionally, the government created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to help heal the wounds of apartheid. Headed by Bishop Desmond Tutu, the TRC sought to forge a single African identity.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In December 1997, Mandela stepped down as president of the ANC. Thabo Mbeki assumed this role and became president of South Africa in 1999. Under his leadership, the country shifted its focus from reconciliation to transformation, particularly in the economic realm.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In April 2004, the ANC won nearly 70% of the national vote, and Mbeki was reelected for his second five-year term. His campaign promise of reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth met with limited success. Since he could not run for a third term, Mbeki ran for a third term as ANC chair in December 2007 elections. However, he was defeated by Jacob Zuma.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> On September 20, 2008, Mbeki was recalled by the ANC and replaced by Kgalema Motlanthe as president on September 25. Motlanthe served the remainder of Mbeki&rsquo;s terms until national elections were held in April 2009.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In April 2009 South Africa held national and provincial elections to elect a new National Assembly in addition to the provincial legislature in each province. The ANC obtained 65.90 percent of the votes cast in the national ballot, just shy of obtaining the ability to change the constitution. Jacob Zuma was elected to a five-year term as president.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_South_Africa"><font color="#0000ff">History of South Africa</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div> <a href="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/zatoc.html"><font color="#0000ff">A Country Study: South Africa</font></a> (Library of Congress)</div>
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South Africa's Newspapers
<p> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/sa.htm"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa&rsquo;s Newspapers</font></a></p>
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History of U.S. Relations with South Africa
<p> Diplomatic relations between the US and South Africa were begun in 1799, when an American consulate was opened in Cape Town.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the US joined the international community in 1986 in imposing economic sanctions against South Africa, earlier American interests were driven largely by the aim of reducing Soviet influence in southern Africa. US officials had viewed South Africa as an important Western geo-strategic bulwark in an unstable region. All US administrations during the 1970s and the 1980s condemned apartheid, but they were generally opposed to broad economic sanctions, often arguing that the most severe impacts of such sanctions would be felt by the same segment of the population that was most disadvantaged by apartheid. The Carter administration (1977-81), however, adopted a tougher line toward Pretoria, viewing African nationalism as a driving force in the region that was compatible with American interests.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The United States had imposed an arms embargo on Pretoria in 1964 and had joined the international consensus in refusing to recognize the &ldquo;independence&rdquo; of four of South Africa&rsquo;s black homelands between 1976 and 1984. The 1983 Gramm Amendment opposed the extension of International Monetary Fund credits to &ldquo;any country practicing apartheid.&rdquo; The 1985 Export Administration Amendment Act barred American exports to South Africa&rsquo;s military and police, except for humanitarian supplies and medical equipment.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Even after sanctions were imposed, the US remained South Africa&rsquo;s second largest trading partner, with exports and imports valued at more than $1.6 billion per year.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Washington tried to influence South African governments by working with them discreetly in a strategy called &ldquo;constructive engagement&rdquo; during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Guided primarily by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crocker, the US emphasized its common strategic interests with South Africa and insisted on unilateral rather than multilateral negotiations over South Africa&rsquo;s future. One of the arguments against sweeping sanctions at the time was that United States officials hoped to maintain the small degree of influence they may have had in pressing for political reforms.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although there was growing public support, abroad and at home, in the 1980s for US sanctions against South Africa&rsquo;s apartheid regime, the US government resisted taking action. The administration of Ronald Reagan took that the position that South Africa was too economically dependent on trade with South Africa to allow human rights considerations to interfere.. South Africa is a primary source for various elements, metals, industrial minerals, nown as strategic minerals, that are needed to supply the military, industrial, and essential civilian needs of the United States. These minerals are not found or produced in the United States in sufficient quantities to meet this need.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> South Africa is an impressive world producer of many important minerals including gold, diamonds, antimony, vermiculite, vanadium, chromium, and the platinum group metals. South Africa is the world&rsquo;s fourth largest non-fuel mineral producer. In the 1980s, the Soviet Union was the world&rsquo;s other major producer. Cutting off trade with South Africa would relinquish greater power to the Soviet Union. Even Reagan attested to this truth in an interview with Walter Cronkite when he asked, &ldquo;can we abandon a country that has stood by us in every war we have fought, a country that is strategically essential to the free world in its production of minerals that we all must have?&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> South Africa and Zimbabwe contain 98 percent of the world&rsquo;s supply of chromium, which is used to make stainless steel and other steel applications. In addition, the US imports 39 percent of its manganese from South Africa. Manganese is used as an important mineral to make steel. Also, the US relies entirely on South Africa to obtain platinum, which is used for electronics and automobiles, among others things.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pressure continued to mount for the US government to impose sanctions on South Africa, to end its apartheid regime. Finally, with the passage of the United States Comprehensive Antiapartheid Act (CAAA) over the veto of President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Congress established an elaborate sanctions structure prohibiting future investments, bank loans, and some forms of trade with South Africa. More than 200 of the 280 US companies in South Africa sold all, or part of, their operations there, and many of those remaining adhered to business principles intended to ameliorate the effects of apartheid. The CAAA called on the president to report to Congress each year on the state of apartheid in South Africa, in order to assess the need for further legislation. In 1987 the Intelligence Authorization Act prohibited intelligence sharing between the two countries. By 1990, 27 state governments, 90 cities, and 24 counties had also imposed sanctions against South Africa or divestment measures on their own citizens&rsquo; South African holdings.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In July 1991, President George HW Bush declared South Africa&rsquo;s progress toward democracy &ldquo;irreversible,&rdquo; and the US began to lift sanctions imposed under the 1986 CAAA. Most IMF and military-related bans remained in force until after the 1994 elections. A few city and county-level restrictions on dealings with South Africa remained on the books even after 1994.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In early 1994, Washington contributed $10 million to assist the electoral process in South Africa, including election observers and technical assistance to parties participating in the elections. After the elections, the administration of President Bill Clinton announced a $600 million, three-year aid, trade, and investment package for South Africa. The United States also promised to support the participation of international lending institutions, such as the IMF, in reconstructing the South African economy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Minor strains emerged in South Africa&rsquo;s relations with the United States after the elections, however. President Mandela was critical of the US on several fronts, including the level of economic assistance offered to help recover from apartheid. Another source of tension arose out of a 1991 indictment by a US court against South Africa&rsquo;s state-owned Armscor (Armaments Corporation of South Africa). The case concerned apparent violations of American arms export controls during the 1980s. South African officials in 1994 requested that the indictment be dropped, noting that the target of sanctions (the apartheid regime) had been removed from power. US officials refused to intervene in the judicial process, however, and the case was finally settled in 1996.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Washington placed South Africa on a &ldquo;trade watch&rdquo; list in 1996, referring to apparent trademark violations that were being adjudicated in South African courts. These and other relatively minor disagreements might have been resolved amicably, had they not taken place against the backdrop of anti-American rhetoric by South African officials on several occasions. For example, in his determination to maintain his government&rsquo;s sovereignty and freedom from outside interference, President Mandela repeatedly emphasized his loyalty and gratitude to countries that had staunchly opposed apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s. Among these countries were Cuba, Libya, and Iran, which the US considered international outcasts or state sponsors of terrorism.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pretoria has championed the cause of ending the trade embargo against Cuba, in defiance of the United States, and South Africa hosted a conference to promote African-Cuban solidarity in October 1995. Pretoria also forged several new cooperation agreements with Iran in 1995 and 1996, and increased its oil purchases from Iran, over American objections. President Mandela proclaimed South Africa&rsquo;s solidarity with Libya and welcomed that country&rsquo;s leader on a visit to South Africa in late 1995.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Despite these strains, South Africa and the United States managed to pursue closer ties in many areas. More than 500 American companies had more than $5 billion in direct investments in South Africa by the mid-1990s, and trade between the two countries increased steadily. In March 1995, Washington and Pretoria established a United States-South Africa Binational Commission to improve communication and cooperation. The commission was co-chaired by Vice President Al Gore and South African deputy president Thabo Mbeki.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Peace Corps began sending volunteers to work in the country in 1997.</div> <div> <div> <div id="_com_2"> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div>
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Current U.S. Relations with South Africa
<p> Current relations between the US and South Africa are comfortable. The two countries cooperate on a number of key issues, including counter-terrorism, fighting HIV/AIDS, and military relations. The two countries also enjoy strong economic and trade relations, and through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US provides development assistance to South Africa.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Despite the cordial relations that officially exist between South Africa and the US, diplomatic differences have resulted in what Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer referred to as a &ldquo;rough patch&rdquo; in US-South African relations. Some South African officials expressed opposition to the Bush administration&rsquo;s initial proposal to locate a new US combatant command, Africa Command or AFRICOM, on the continent. In addition, South Africa took a critical stance toward the war in Iraq, and former President Nelson Mandela was vocal in his opposition to what he viewed as US unilateralism on Iraq. South Africa also differs significantly with the United States on Iran. During an 2006 visit by the Iranian Foreign Minister to Pretoria, South Africa affirmed its support for Iran&rsquo;s &ldquo;inalienable right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,&rdquo; at the same time that the Mbeki government announced its intention to consider renewing its uranium enrichment program. South Africa, which dismantled its own nuclear weapons program after the fall of apartheid, insists that any enrichment program would be strictly peaceful in nature.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In August 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made an 11-day visit to Africa, which included a stop in South Africa. Clinton made an effort to press the South African government, primarily President Zuma, to use more of its influence to counter the &ldquo;negative effects&rdquo; of Zimbabwe&rsquo;s President Robert Mugabe. Contention has emerged over the issue of whether Zuma&rsquo;s stance toward Mugabe is too soft.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In the 2000 US census, 45,569 people identified themselves as South Africans. Though the end of apartheid saw an exodus of whites leaving South Africa, they tended to migrate towards Australia and New Zealand, countries sharing their homeland&rsquo;s British heritage and temperate climate. Those coming to the United States tended to settle in Midwestern states like Illinois and Minnesota.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 254,757 Americans visited South Africa, an increase of 9.1% from the 233,417 that visited in 2005. More Americans have traveled to South Africa every year since 2002, when 182,591 Americans visited.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 89,017 South Africans visited the US. The number of visits made has varied from year to year, but is up 20.4% from the 73,910 visits in 2002.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <a href="http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/countries/southafrica/index.html"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa</font></a> (USAID)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL31697.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa: Current Issues and US Relations</font></a> (Lauren Ploch, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division)</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa%E2%80%93United_States_relations"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa &ndash; United States Relations</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cfr.org/publication/120/promoting_us_economic_relations_with_africa.html?excerpt=1"><font color="#0000ff">Promoting US Economic Relations with Africa</font></a> (Frank Savage, Peggy Dulany &amp; Salih Booker, Council on Foreign Relations)</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> US imports from South Africa are led by two billion-dollar items: precious metals and diamonds. From 2004 to 2008, <span>precious metals rose from $1.7 billion to $2.97 billion, and gem diamonds (uncut or unset), went up from $754 million to $1 billion.</span></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Other top American imports included <span>industrial organic chemicals, increasing from $165 million to $434 million; steelmaking and ferroalloying materials (unmanufactured), jumping up from $635.6 million to $1 billion; and bauxite and aluminum, rising from $156 million to $179.6 million. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> US imports from South Africa on the decline included miscellaneous industrial machinery, falling from $76.5 million to $54.3 million;, medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations down from $18.4 million to $11.8 million; and apparel and household goods (cotton), decreasing from $106.8 million to $12.8 million.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Leading US exports to South Africa include <span>passenger cars, increasing from $238.8 million to $248.3 million; wheat, rising from $52.3 million to $122 million; petroleum products, moving up from $108.7 million to $271million; and chemicals (organic), up from $141.8 million to $169.4 million. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were virtually no exports on decline to South Africa. American exports that did decline between 2004 and 2008 included aircraft launching gear, parachutes, etc., moving down from $2.8 million to $856 thousand; and, leather and furs falling from $7.5 million to $82 thousand; computer accessories fell from $75.6 million to $71.2 million.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The US sold $345.7 million of defense articles and services to South Africa in 2007.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The US gave $398.3 million in aid to South Africa in 2007. The 2007 budget allocated the most funds to Global HIV/AIDS Initiative ($371.4 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($7.2 million), and Good Governance ($3.6 million).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The 2008 budget increased funding to $574.3 million, largely due to the growth of the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative ($557.2 million).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2009 the US is giving $575.5 million to South Africa. The 2009 budget allots the most funds to Global HIV/AIDS Initiative ($557.2 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($8 million), Financial Sector ($5 million) and Conflict Mitigation and Resolution ($1 million). South Africa will receive further aid to treat its estimated 5.3 million HIV infected individuals through the President&rsquo;s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (<a href="http://www.pepfar.gov/"><font color="#0000ff">PEPFAR</font></a>), independent of the foreign operations budget.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c7910.html"><font color="#0000ff">Imports from South Africa</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c7910.html"><font color="#0000ff">Exports to South Africa<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/t/pm/64739.htm"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa: Security Assistance</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101368.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 310-313)</font></a> (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c7910.html"><font color="#0000ff">Trade in Goods (Imports, Exports and Trade Balance) with South Africa</font></a> (<a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/200810310333.html"><font color="#0000ff">US Census Bureau) </font></a></div> <div> <span><a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/200810310333.html"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa: Concerns Raised About US, African Trade</font></a></span> (by Hopewell Radebe, Business Day)</div> <div> <div> <div id="_com_1"> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>US Africa Command Raises Controversy</b></p> <div> In October 2008, US Navy aircraft visited South Africa as part of the controversial US Africa Command, an initiative that left many wondering about the United States&rsquo; true intentions on the continent. The program is part of a partnership with South Africa&rsquo;s military, and comes at a time when Somalian pirates have captured a series of cargo ships. But the African National Congress in particular has been critical of US policy in the region, saying the US views Africa has little more than a source of energy supplies and fending off possible Chinese aggression in the future.&nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=36732"><font color="#0000ff">Diplomacy, Development Focus of Stepped-Up US Policy in Africa</font></a> (by Patrick Goodenough, Cybercast News Service)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>White House Wants Apartheid Suits <a>Dropped</a></b></div> <div> In February 2008, the Bush administration told the US Supreme Court that a series of lawsuits against companies that did business with the former apartheid regime of South Africa should be dropped. The suits would require about 50 American companies to pay as much as $400 billion to South African blacks and others who suffered under apartheid between 1948 and 1994. The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, passed in 1986, made it illegal for US companies to establish new trade or business with South Africa. South Africa&rsquo;s government also opposes the lawsuit, saying it would hurt efforts to reconcile the country.</div> <div> <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/02/12/scotus.apartheid/index.html"><font color="#0000ff">Dismiss Apartheid Suits, White House Urges Supreme Court</font></a> (by Bill Mears, CNN)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Winfrey&rsquo;s Academy Accused of Abuse </b></div> <div> In November 2007, Reuters reported that talk-show host Oprah Winfrey said she was &ldquo;cleaning house&rdquo; as a result of abuse charges by students at an all-girl school she sponsors in South Africa. Dorm matrons were accused of soliciting girls to perform indecent acts, and all of them were removed after the accusations were made. Winfrey herself suffered sexual abuse as a child, and said that the incident had &ldquo;shaken her to her core.&rdquo;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL0516946620071106"><font color="#0000ff">Oprah &ldquo;Cleans House&rdquo; in South Africa School Abuse Case</font></a> (by Bate Felix, Reuters)</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>American AIDS Charity Raises Controversy </b></div> <div> In June 2002, a charity backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation came under fire from the South African government when they were accused of promoting oral sex between teenagers in an effort to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. Lovelife, the country&rsquo;s leading AIDS activist group, said that promoting abstinence will not work, since teenagers are so sexually active. The group&rsquo;s literature, paid for with American charitable donations, posits that oral sex between teenagers could help save lives. More than 50% of South Africans engage in sex by the age of sixteen.&nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,55947,00.html"><font color="#0000ff">US AIDS Charity Comes Under Fire</font></a> (by Simon Marks, Fox News)</div> <div> <div> <div id="_com_1"> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div>
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Human Rights
<p> &nbsp;According to the State Department, &ldquo;South African police used lethal force during apprehensions which resulted in a significant number of deaths. Some police officers reportedly tortured, beat, raped, and otherwise abused suspects. Police torture and abuse allegedly occurred during interrogation, arrest, detention, and searches of persons&rsquo; homes. There was a 13 percent increase in the number of deaths as a result of police action in 2008. Police forcibly dispersed demonstrators on several occasions during 2008, resulting in injuries. Incidents of police harassment against foreigners continued, particularly during coordinated police raids in areas where foreign nationals resided. There were allegations of police abuse during sweeps and home searches and other criticisms against government legislation and practices.</p> <div> Most prisons did not meet international standards, and prison conditions did not always meet the country&rsquo;s minimum legal requirements. Due to the severe overcrowding, many prisoners had less than 13 square feet in which to eat, sleep and spend 23 hours per day. A <a href="http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/other/unpan022297.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Judicial Protectorate of Prisons</font></a> (JIP) report said that few prisoners had access to work and rehabilitation programs, and levels of frustration and violence had increased. Prison employees and other prisoners allegedly abused and assaulted prisoners physically and sexually. Detainees awaiting trial reportedly contracted HIV/AIDS through rape.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The law authorizes state monitoring of telecommunications systems for criminal investigations, including cellular telephones, the Internet, and email.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Farm ownerscontinued to evict workers legally and illegally. The law requires that evictions be approved by a court; however, fewer than 1% of evictions involved a legal process, according to the NKUZI Development Association, a domestic NGO.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Several apartheid-era laws that remained in force posed a potential threat to media independence. The independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views, although some journalists expressed concern that the government heavily influenced and tried to control the media.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The constitution and law provide for freedom of assembly, but police forcibly dispersed several demonstrations during the year, which resulted in injuries.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The government continued its efforts to curb corruption, but, according to the <a href="http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/WBI/EXTWBIGOVANTCOR/0,,menuPK:1740542~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:1740530,00.html"><font color="#0000ff">World Bank&rsquo;s Worldwide Governance Indicators</font></a>, government corruption remained a problem.The public perception of widespread official corruption, particularly in the police, continued.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Rape, including spousal rape, is illegal, but remained a serious problem. Allegations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment of black citizen and foreign migrant female farm workers by farm owners, managers, and by other farm workers were common.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Domestic violence was pervasive and included physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse, as well as harassment and stalking by former partners. According to NGOs, an estimated 25% of women were in abusive relationships, but few reported it. Counselors also alleged that doctors, police officers, and judges often treated abused women poorly.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Prostitution is illegal but was widespread and practiced openly. There were reports that women were trafficked to and from the country for exploitation in prostitution. The country was a destination, transit route, and point of origin for the trafficking of persons, including children, from other countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe for prostitution and forced labor. Domestic and international organized crime syndicates trafficked women into the country for use in the sex industry. Young men were trafficked chiefly for agricultural work.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The law prohibits sexual harassment; however, sexual harassment remained a widespread problem. Discrimination against women remained a serious problem despite their equal rights under the law governing inheritance, divorce, and child custody. Women experienced economic discrimination in areas such as wages, extension of credit, and ownership of land.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Although the law prohibits corporal punishment in schools, there were reports that teachers used physical violence to discipline students. Student-on-student violence, including racially motivated violence, continued to be a major concern of educational authorities and parents.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;HIV/AIDS activists, physicians, and opposition parties continued to criticize the government for failing to provide ARV therapy to all pregnant and breast-feeding women and thereby protect young children from HIV/AIDS transmission.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Violence against children, including domestic violence and sexual abuse, remained widespread. While there was increased attention to the problem, a lack of coordinated and comprehensive strategies to deal with violent crimes continued to impede the delivery of needed services to young victims.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The high incidence of HIV/AIDS has resulted in an increase in the number of child-headed households. These children sometimes turned to prostitution to support themselves and their siblings. AIDS activists alleged that children in prostitution were often highly sought after because of the widely held belief that sex with a virgin provided a cure for HIV/AIDS, but most South Africans said the knew the belief wasn&rsquo;t true.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There was a growing problem of xenophobia in South Africa during 2008. There were widespread attacks against foreign nationals, mostly from Zimbabwe and Swaziland, in May. The attacks were mostly brought on due to competition for resources and increased number of migrants from neighboring African nations. The climate of impunity allowed the situation to escalate and few people have been prosecuted. There were also reports of desecration and vandalism or verbal or written harassment directed against the Jewish and Muslim minorities.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/af/119025.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US State Department</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/africa/south-africa"><font color="#0000ff">Human Rights Watch</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/africa/southern-africa/south-africa"><font color="#0000ff">Amnesty International</font></a></div> <div> <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div> <div id="_com_1"> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Ralph J. Totten<br /> Appointment: Dec 19, 1929<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 18, 1930<br /> Termination of Mission: Promoted to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa. </span></p> <div> Ralph J. Totten<br /> Appointment: Jun 20, 1930<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 8, 1930<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 12, 1937<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Leo J. Keena<br /> Appointment: Jul 31, 1937<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 22, 1937<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 13, 1942<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Lincoln MacVeagh<br /> Appointment: May 21, 1942<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 21, 1942<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 21, 1943<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas Holcomb<br /> Appointment: Mar 21, 1944<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 14, 1944<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post May 30, 1948<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> North Winship<br /> Appointment: Mar 24, 1948<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 11, 1948<br /> Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> North Winship<br /> Appointment: Mar 2, 1949<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 23, 1949<br /> Termination of Mission: Left South Africa, Dec 20, 1949<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John G. Erhardt<br /> Appointment: May 23, 1950<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 4, 1950<br /> Termination of Mission: Died at Capetown, Feb. 18, 1951<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Waldemar J. Gallman<br /> Appointment: Aug 22, 1951<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 18, 1951<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 15, 1954<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward T. Wailes<br /> Appointment: Sep 15, 1954<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 29, 1954<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 11, 1956<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 3, 1954. Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry A. Byroade<br /> Appointment: Jul 26, 1956<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 9, 1956<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 24, 1959<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Philip K. Crowe<br /> Appointment: Feb 16, 1959<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 22, 1959<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 6, 1961<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Joseph C. Satterthwaite<br /> Appointment: Apr 6, 1961<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 22, 1961<br /> Termination of Mission: Reaccredited when South Africa became a republic<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> Joseph C. Satterthwaite<br /> Presentation of Credentials: [May 31, 1961]<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 17, 1965<br /> <span>Note: New letter of credence submitted to the Foreign Office on May 31, 1961; not formally presented.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William M. Rountree<br /> Appointment: Oct 20, 1965<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 8, 1966<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 5, 1970</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John G. Hurd<br /> Appointment: Jul 24, 1970<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1970<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 7, 1975</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William G. Bowdler<br /> Appointment: Mar 17, 1975<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 14, 1975<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 19, 1978</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William S. Edmondson<br /> Appointment: May 3, 1978<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 5, 1978<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 22, 1981</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Herman W. Nickel<br /> Appointment: Mar 29, 1982<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 20, 1982<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 4, 1986</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward Joseph Perkins<br /> Appointment: Oct 16, 1986<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 27, 1986<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post May 22, 1989</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Lacy Swing<br /> Appointment: Aug 7, 1989<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 8, 1989<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 5, 1992</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Princeton Nathan Lyman<br /> Appointment: Jul 14, 1992<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sept 21, 1992<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 14, 1995</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> James A. Joseph<br /> Appointment: Dec 19, 1995<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 27, 1996<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 7, 1999</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Delano Eugene Lewis, Jr.<br /> Appointment: Nov 16, 1999<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 21, 2000<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 22, 2001</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cameron R. Hume<br /> Appointment: Nov 5, 2001<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 29, 2001<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 28, 2004</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Jendayi Elizabeth Frazer<br /> Appointment: May 25, 2004<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 10, 2004<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 26, 2005</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Eric M. Bost<br /> Appointment: Jul 5, 2006<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 15, 2006<br /> Termination of Mission: Jan 20, 2009</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/com/11275.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Former US Ambassadors to South Africa</font></a></div> </div>
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South Africa's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Rasool, Ebrahim

Prior to becoming South Africa’s ambassador to the United States in July 2010, Ebrahim Rasool was in the thick of his country’s politics. The Muslim leader spent years fighting the apartheid government and eventually rose to become a regional governor, during which he reportedly paid journalists to write friendly articles about his leadership. According to a U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks, Rasool introduced himself to U.S. ambassador Don Gips as “a non-violent Islamic militant, a non-fundamentalist revolutionary, and a non-extremist radical.”

 
Born on July 15, 1962, in Capetown, Rasool was nine years old when his family was forced to move from District Six because the Apartheid government decided the area was for whites only.
 
In 1980, he graduated from Livingstone High School in Claremont. He received a Bachelor of Arts (1983) and a Higher Diploma in Education (1984) from the University of Cape Town.
 
In 1985, he took a teaching position at Spine Road High School for one year.
 
His joined the anti-apartheid movement, and eventually assumed leadership roles in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the African National Congress (ANC) and spent time in prison and under house arrest for his political activities.
 
From 1991 to 1994, he served as assistant to the rector of the University of the Western Cape.
 
During the 1990s, Rasool held posts in the government, including in the departments of health, welfare, finance and economic development.
 
In 2004, he became premier of the Western Cape province. Four years later, he was forced from his office as a result of in-fighting within the ANC.
 
Rasool then served as special advisor to the president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, before being elected a member of parliament in the National Assembly.
 
While attending diplomatic school in Pretoria in preparation for his ambassadorship, it was revealed that Rasool paid two local journalists to write favorable stories on his behalf during his time as premier in the Western Cape.
 
Another embarrassing revelation came by way of WikiLeaks. A U.S. State Department cable published by the whistleblower website said Rasool blamed his fall as premier on ANC
leaders tiring of “preferences given to the large colored and Muslim population of the Western Cape.”
 
In 2008 Rasool founded the World for All Foundation, which aims to oppose extremism and bring together moderates of different races and religions.
 
He and his wife, Rosieda Shabodien, have a son and a daughter.
 
Official Biography (Embassy of South Africa)
Ebrahim Rasool Explains Why He Was Fired (by Thanduxolo Jika, News 24)
What Rasool Told the Americans (State Department Cable from Donald Gips)

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South Africa's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p> <a href="http://www.saembassy.org/"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa&rsquo;s Embassy in the US</font></a></p>
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U.S. Ambassador to South Africa

Gaspard, Patrick
ambassador-image

The new ambassador to South Africa, who was sworn into the post on August 26, is a former union leader who was born in Africa. Patrick Gaspard succeeded Donald Gips, who served starting in September 2009.

 

Gaspard was born in 1967 in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Haitian parents who had moved there in response to an appeal by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba for French-speaking academics of African descent. His father, a lawyer, was involved in some of the freedom movements in Africa at the time, and Gaspard credits him as a source of his political values:

 

“I think my father was always completely inspired by just how wide open [the] democratic discourse is in this country, and he instilled in me from my earliest years a sense that I had an obligation to give back to my community and to serve to the greatest degree possible,” Gaspard has said.

 

Gaspard immigrated to New York City with his parents at the age of three. Although he attended Columbia University, Gaspard left without a degree in order to jump into the shark tank known as New York City politics.

 

After working as a community organizer around school reform issues, Gaspard worked on the 1988 Jesse Jackson presidential campaign and David Dinkins’s successful 1989 mayoral bid. Enjoying the spoils of victory, Gaspard served as a special assistant in the Office of Manhattan Borough President and special assistant in the Office of Mayor Dinkins, and from 1998 to 1999 he was chief of staff to the New York City Council.

 

In 1999, he organized protests after the killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from Guinea who was shot at 41 times, and hit 19 times, by four New York City police officers.

 

In 2003 and 2004, Gaspard was national deputy field director for Gov. Howard Dean’s Democratic presidential primary campaign, and after Dean conceded defeat in 2004, was national field director for America Coming Together, a Democratic-leaning get-out-the-vote organization.

 

Gaspard served nine years as executive vice president for politics and legislation for Local 1199-Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers East labor union, the largest local union in the United States. He helped coordinate political activity and government relations on behalf of 300,000 members.

 

Although he turned down a chance to join the Obama campaign in 2007, Gaspard signed on as Obama’s national political director in June 2008 and after the election served as associate personnel director of President-elect Obama’s transition team. He then worked in the White House as assistant to the president and director of the Office of Political Affairs from 2009 to 2011. As the re-election effort loomed, he moved over to the Democratic National Committee, where he was executive director from 2011 to 2013.

 

Generally a low-key, low-profile figure, Gaspard let his feelings get the better of him the day the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, tweeting triumphantly, “It’s constitutional. Bitches.” He apologized within a few minutes.

 

Gaspard is a huge fan of comic books, and has said that Batman is his favorite character. He is married to Raina Gaspard and has two children, Indigo and Cybele. Widely considered a devoted father, in 2006 he cited raising two children of color in America as his most important accomplishment.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Patrick Gaspard, Top Obama Aide, Headed to South Africa as Ambassador (by Melba Newsome, The Grio)

Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (pdf)

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News
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Overview
<p> Due to colonization by the British Empire and subsequent immigration waves and territory adjustments, South Africa is ethnically, religiously, linguistically, and culturally diverse. Although originally settled by speakers of the Khosian language, South Africa was populated mainly by Bantu, who migrated from central Africa. The Nguni joined these two groups in 1488, around the time the Portuguese arrived on the Cape of Good Hope. Permanent European settlement began in 1652, when the Dutch East India Company established a trading post, and over the next few decades, French, Dutch and German settlers arrived. These three groups combined to form the Afrikaner or Boer ethnic group. In the 18th and 19th century, the Boers came into conflict with the native populations as well as the British, who had gained control of the country. Although Boer republics were established, by the late 1800s, early 1900s, the republics were subsumed into the British Empire after several conflicts.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Racial separation, characterized politically as apartheid, came to define South Africa in the 20th century. Beginning in 1912, a series of restrictive policies were passed, which led to political, cultural, and social transformations of the population. Racism became standard in South Africa during the 1900s. Political groups, including the African National Congress (ANC), mobilized to combat such restrictions. Forced to go underground, the ANC was finally granted legality in February 1990. The first multi-racial elections were held in 1994 and Nelson Mandela was elected as president. Although the economy rebounded and the past policies of racial segregation were repealed, today there is still evidence of long-held racism.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Post-apartheid South Africa has come to epitomize democracy in Africa. When Mandela assumed the presidency, South Africa began its recovery from external sanctions and internal conflict. Foreign investment and privatization have aided in the recovery of the economy. South Africa is now well integrated into the global economy. South Africa is a leading supplier of several &ldquo;strategic minerals,&rdquo; including gold, diamonds, manganese, chromium, antimony, vermiculite, vanadium and platinum.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div>
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Basic Information
<p> <b>Lay of the Land</b>: The Republic of South Africa sprawls across the foot of the African continent. The Indian Ocean washes the east coast of the country, and the Atlantic borders the west coast. The two oceans merge south of the port city of Cape Town.</p> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Population</b>: 48.8 million</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Religions</b>: Christian (Catholic and traditional Protestant) 56.8%, African Independent Churches (Christian, predominantly Pentecostal and Zionist) 26%, Ethnoreligious 9.0%, non-religious 3.0%, Muslim 2.5%, Hindu 2.4%, Baha&rsquo;i 0.7%, Jewish 0.2%, Buddhist 0.1%.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Ethnic Groups</b>: black African 79%, white 9.6%, mixed 8.95, Indian/Asian 2.5%.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>Languages</b>: Zulu (official) 21.6%, Xhosa (official) 16.9%, Afrikaans (official) 13.6%, Northern Sotho (official) 8.6%, English (official) 8.1%, Tswana (official) 7.7%, Southern Sotho (official) 7.3%, Tsonga (official) 4.2%, Swati (official) 2.3%, Venda (official) 2.1%, Hindi 2.1%, Ndebele (official) 1.4%. There are 24 living languages in South Africa.</div>
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History
<p> South Africa has been populated for thousands of years, most notably by speakers of the Khosian language, who continue to inhabit the western part of the country. The Bantu make up the largest part of South African&rsquo;s population today, and migrated southward from central Africa, settling in the Transvaal region sometime before 100 AD.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1500, the Nguni, an ethnic group descended from the Zulu and Xhosa, occupied most of the eastern coast of South Africa. Around the same time, the Portuguese arrived, landing at the Cape of Good Hope in 1488.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Permanent European settlement did not begin until 1652, when the Dutch East India Company established a case on the Cape. Over the next few decades, French, Huguenots, Dutch, and German settlers arrived and established settlements. Through inter-marriage, they formed the Afrikaner portion of the country&rsquo;s population.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1779, European settlements extended beyond the southern part of the Cape and eastward. Friction between Dutch settlers and the native Xhosa population led to the first frontier war in the 18th century. By the end of the century, the British had gained control of the region, sparking conflict between the Afrikaners and the English.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1836, many Afrikaners, also known as Boers, began to move northward in what came to be known as the Great Trek. This was partially to escape British rule and partially to protest the recent abolition of slavery. The Great Trek brought the Dutch into conflict with the Zulu, who had conquered much territory between the Drakensberg Mountains and the sea.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> By 1828, Shaka Zulu, leader of the tribe, was assassinated and replaced by his brother <span>Dingane. Dingane did not last long as a leader, however. In 1838, he was defeated and deported by the Voortrekkers (the people who had undergone the Great Trek). </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1852 and 1854, the independent Boer Republics of the Transvaal and the Orange Free State, respectively, were established, which brought further strain on British relations. In 1870, diamonds were discovered at Kimberly, and in 1886, gold was discovered in the Witwatersrand region of the Transvaal. This led to increased immigration and investment in the region, especially by Europeans. Many blacks also moved to the area to work in the mines.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> But as more people of differing cultures moved into the region, friction between the Boers and the British intensified. From 1880-1881 and 1899-1902, two Anglo-Boer Wars were fought, with the British prevailing. As a result, the two Boer republics were incorporated into the British Empire. In May 1910, the two republics were added to the British colonies of the Cape and Natal to form the Union of South Africa, which gained self-government under the administration of the British Empire. All political power was consolidated in the hands of whites.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1912, the South Africa National Congress was founded, and eventually became known as the African National Congress (ANC). The ANC&rsquo;s primary goals were the elimination of restrictions based on color and the establishment of parliamentary representation for blacks. The government, however, continued to pass laws that limited rights and freedoms of blacks.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1948, the National Party (NP) won the all-white election and began to pass legislation that enforced an even stronger policy of racial separation known as apartheid (&ldquo;separateness&rdquo;). By the early 1960s, a protest turned violent as 69 protestors were killed by police. Afterwards, the ANC and Pan-African Congress (PAC) were banned. ANC leader Nelson Mandela and others were imprisoned on charges of treason. During the next several decades, the ANC and PAC went underground, continuing to fight for freedom through the use of guerilla warfare and sabotage.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In May 1961, South Africa became a republic, and withdrew from the British Commonwealth because of international protests against apartheid. The United Nations urged countries doing business with South Africa to divest themselves. The UK-led Anti-Apartheid Movement began in 1964 to urge lawmakers to pass sanctions and other measures designed to punish South Africa for apartheid. The US government, which had previously resisted cracking down on the South African government because of its help in fighting communist movements throughout southern Africa, began to impose trade sanctions against the country once celebrities and political leaders lobbied Congress for a change in US foreign policy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1984, South Africa adopted a new constitution which allowed blacks and Asians a limited role in the national government. However, all power remained in the hands of whites. Black townships responded with a series of uprisings. Two of these in particular helped to convince the government that change was needed. Secret discussions between government officials and Mandela began in 1986, and in February 1990, President FW de Klerk announced that the ANC and PAC were no longer banned. All similar anti-apartheid groups enjoyed similar freedom to operate. Two weeks later, Mandela was released from prison.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 1991, the Group Areas Act, Land Acts, and the Population Registration Act&mdash;three laws that had come to be called the &ldquo;pillars of apartheid&rdquo;&mdash;were abolished. After protracted negotiations, a new constitution was adopted in December 1993. From April 26-28,1994, South Africa held its first non-racial elections, and Mandela was elected president on May 10.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Following the 1994 elections, the country was governed under an interim constitution that established a Government of National Unity (GNU). The Constitutional Assembly drafted a permanent constitution that was signed into law on December 10, 1996 and went into effect on February 3, 1997. The ANC, the NP, and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) shared power in the new government, and in June 1996, the NP withdrew from the GNU to form the opposition.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> During Mandela&rsquo;s five-year term as president, South Africa committed itself to reforming the country. Social issues like unemployment, housing shortages, and crime became new focuses, and Mandela&rsquo;s government began to reintroduce the country to the global economy by implementing a market-driven economic plan known as Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR). Additionally, the government created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to help heal the wounds of apartheid. Headed by Bishop Desmond Tutu, the TRC sought to forge a single African identity.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In December 1997, Mandela stepped down as president of the ANC. Thabo Mbeki assumed this role and became president of South Africa in 1999. Under his leadership, the country shifted its focus from reconciliation to transformation, particularly in the economic realm.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In April 2004, the ANC won nearly 70% of the national vote, and Mbeki was reelected for his second five-year term. His campaign promise of reducing poverty and stimulating economic growth met with limited success. Since he could not run for a third term, Mbeki ran for a third term as ANC chair in December 2007 elections. However, he was defeated by Jacob Zuma.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> On September 20, 2008, Mbeki was recalled by the ANC and replaced by Kgalema Motlanthe as president on September 25. Motlanthe served the remainder of Mbeki&rsquo;s terms until national elections were held in April 2009.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In April 2009 South Africa held national and provincial elections to elect a new National Assembly in addition to the provincial legislature in each province. The ANC obtained 65.90 percent of the votes cast in the national ballot, just shy of obtaining the ability to change the constitution. Jacob Zuma was elected to a five-year term as president.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_South_Africa"><font color="#0000ff">History of South Africa</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div> <a href="http://lcweb2.loc.gov/frd/cs/zatoc.html"><font color="#0000ff">A Country Study: South Africa</font></a> (Library of Congress)</div>
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South Africa's Newspapers
<p> <a href="http://www.onlinenewspapers.com/sa.htm"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa&rsquo;s Newspapers</font></a></p>
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History of U.S. Relations with South Africa
<p> Diplomatic relations between the US and South Africa were begun in 1799, when an American consulate was opened in Cape Town.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although the US joined the international community in 1986 in imposing economic sanctions against South Africa, earlier American interests were driven largely by the aim of reducing Soviet influence in southern Africa. US officials had viewed South Africa as an important Western geo-strategic bulwark in an unstable region. All US administrations during the 1970s and the 1980s condemned apartheid, but they were generally opposed to broad economic sanctions, often arguing that the most severe impacts of such sanctions would be felt by the same segment of the population that was most disadvantaged by apartheid. The Carter administration (1977-81), however, adopted a tougher line toward Pretoria, viewing African nationalism as a driving force in the region that was compatible with American interests.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The United States had imposed an arms embargo on Pretoria in 1964 and had joined the international consensus in refusing to recognize the &ldquo;independence&rdquo; of four of South Africa&rsquo;s black homelands between 1976 and 1984. The 1983 Gramm Amendment opposed the extension of International Monetary Fund credits to &ldquo;any country practicing apartheid.&rdquo; The 1985 Export Administration Amendment Act barred American exports to South Africa&rsquo;s military and police, except for humanitarian supplies and medical equipment.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Even after sanctions were imposed, the US remained South Africa&rsquo;s second largest trading partner, with exports and imports valued at more than $1.6 billion per year.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Washington tried to influence South African governments by working with them discreetly in a strategy called &ldquo;constructive engagement&rdquo; during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Guided primarily by Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Chester Crocker, the US emphasized its common strategic interests with South Africa and insisted on unilateral rather than multilateral negotiations over South Africa&rsquo;s future. One of the arguments against sweeping sanctions at the time was that United States officials hoped to maintain the small degree of influence they may have had in pressing for political reforms.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Although there was growing public support, abroad and at home, in the 1980s for US sanctions against South Africa&rsquo;s apartheid regime, the US government resisted taking action. The administration of Ronald Reagan took that the position that South Africa was too economically dependent on trade with South Africa to allow human rights considerations to interfere.. South Africa is a primary source for various elements, metals, industrial minerals, nown as strategic minerals, that are needed to supply the military, industrial, and essential civilian needs of the United States. These minerals are not found or produced in the United States in sufficient quantities to meet this need.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> South Africa is an impressive world producer of many important minerals including gold, diamonds, antimony, vermiculite, vanadium, chromium, and the platinum group metals. South Africa is the world&rsquo;s fourth largest non-fuel mineral producer. In the 1980s, the Soviet Union was the world&rsquo;s other major producer. Cutting off trade with South Africa would relinquish greater power to the Soviet Union. Even Reagan attested to this truth in an interview with Walter Cronkite when he asked, &ldquo;can we abandon a country that has stood by us in every war we have fought, a country that is strategically essential to the free world in its production of minerals that we all must have?&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> South Africa and Zimbabwe contain 98 percent of the world&rsquo;s supply of chromium, which is used to make stainless steel and other steel applications. In addition, the US imports 39 percent of its manganese from South Africa. Manganese is used as an important mineral to make steel. Also, the US relies entirely on South Africa to obtain platinum, which is used for electronics and automobiles, among others things.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pressure continued to mount for the US government to impose sanctions on South Africa, to end its apartheid regime. Finally, with the passage of the United States Comprehensive Antiapartheid Act (CAAA) over the veto of President Ronald Reagan in 1986, Congress established an elaborate sanctions structure prohibiting future investments, bank loans, and some forms of trade with South Africa. More than 200 of the 280 US companies in South Africa sold all, or part of, their operations there, and many of those remaining adhered to business principles intended to ameliorate the effects of apartheid. The CAAA called on the president to report to Congress each year on the state of apartheid in South Africa, in order to assess the need for further legislation. In 1987 the Intelligence Authorization Act prohibited intelligence sharing between the two countries. By 1990, 27 state governments, 90 cities, and 24 counties had also imposed sanctions against South Africa or divestment measures on their own citizens&rsquo; South African holdings.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In July 1991, President George HW Bush declared South Africa&rsquo;s progress toward democracy &ldquo;irreversible,&rdquo; and the US began to lift sanctions imposed under the 1986 CAAA. Most IMF and military-related bans remained in force until after the 1994 elections. A few city and county-level restrictions on dealings with South Africa remained on the books even after 1994.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In early 1994, Washington contributed $10 million to assist the electoral process in South Africa, including election observers and technical assistance to parties participating in the elections. After the elections, the administration of President Bill Clinton announced a $600 million, three-year aid, trade, and investment package for South Africa. The United States also promised to support the participation of international lending institutions, such as the IMF, in reconstructing the South African economy.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Minor strains emerged in South Africa&rsquo;s relations with the United States after the elections, however. President Mandela was critical of the US on several fronts, including the level of economic assistance offered to help recover from apartheid. Another source of tension arose out of a 1991 indictment by a US court against South Africa&rsquo;s state-owned Armscor (Armaments Corporation of South Africa). The case concerned apparent violations of American arms export controls during the 1980s. South African officials in 1994 requested that the indictment be dropped, noting that the target of sanctions (the apartheid regime) had been removed from power. US officials refused to intervene in the judicial process, however, and the case was finally settled in 1996.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Washington placed South Africa on a &ldquo;trade watch&rdquo; list in 1996, referring to apparent trademark violations that were being adjudicated in South African courts. These and other relatively minor disagreements might have been resolved amicably, had they not taken place against the backdrop of anti-American rhetoric by South African officials on several occasions. For example, in his determination to maintain his government&rsquo;s sovereignty and freedom from outside interference, President Mandela repeatedly emphasized his loyalty and gratitude to countries that had staunchly opposed apartheid during the 1970s and 1980s. Among these countries were Cuba, Libya, and Iran, which the US considered international outcasts or state sponsors of terrorism.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Pretoria has championed the cause of ending the trade embargo against Cuba, in defiance of the United States, and South Africa hosted a conference to promote African-Cuban solidarity in October 1995. Pretoria also forged several new cooperation agreements with Iran in 1995 and 1996, and increased its oil purchases from Iran, over American objections. President Mandela proclaimed South Africa&rsquo;s solidarity with Libya and welcomed that country&rsquo;s leader on a visit to South Africa in late 1995.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Despite these strains, South Africa and the United States managed to pursue closer ties in many areas. More than 500 American companies had more than $5 billion in direct investments in South Africa by the mid-1990s, and trade between the two countries increased steadily. In March 1995, Washington and Pretoria established a United States-South Africa Binational Commission to improve communication and cooperation. The commission was co-chaired by Vice President Al Gore and South African deputy president Thabo Mbeki.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The Peace Corps began sending volunteers to work in the country in 1997.</div> <div> <div> <div id="_com_2"> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div>
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Current U.S. Relations with South Africa
<p> Current relations between the US and South Africa are comfortable. The two countries cooperate on a number of key issues, including counter-terrorism, fighting HIV/AIDS, and military relations. The two countries also enjoy strong economic and trade relations, and through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the US provides development assistance to South Africa.</p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Despite the cordial relations that officially exist between South Africa and the US, diplomatic differences have resulted in what Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer referred to as a &ldquo;rough patch&rdquo; in US-South African relations. Some South African officials expressed opposition to the Bush administration&rsquo;s initial proposal to locate a new US combatant command, Africa Command or AFRICOM, on the continent. In addition, South Africa took a critical stance toward the war in Iraq, and former President Nelson Mandela was vocal in his opposition to what he viewed as US unilateralism on Iraq. South Africa also differs significantly with the United States on Iran. During an 2006 visit by the Iranian Foreign Minister to Pretoria, South Africa affirmed its support for Iran&rsquo;s &ldquo;inalienable right to pursue nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,&rdquo; at the same time that the Mbeki government announced its intention to consider renewing its uranium enrichment program. South Africa, which dismantled its own nuclear weapons program after the fall of apartheid, insists that any enrichment program would be strictly peaceful in nature.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In August 2009, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made an 11-day visit to Africa, which included a stop in South Africa. Clinton made an effort to press the South African government, primarily President Zuma, to use more of its influence to counter the &ldquo;negative effects&rdquo; of Zimbabwe&rsquo;s President Robert Mugabe. Contention has emerged over the issue of whether Zuma&rsquo;s stance toward Mugabe is too soft.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> In the 2000 US census, 45,569 people identified themselves as South Africans. Though the end of apartheid saw an exodus of whites leaving South Africa, they tended to migrate towards Australia and New Zealand, countries sharing their homeland&rsquo;s British heritage and temperate climate. Those coming to the United States tended to settle in Midwestern states like Illinois and Minnesota.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 254,757 Americans visited South Africa, an increase of 9.1% from the 233,417 that visited in 2005. More Americans have traveled to South Africa every year since 2002, when 182,591 Americans visited.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2006, 89,017 South Africans visited the US. The number of visits made has varied from year to year, but is up 20.4% from the 73,910 visits in 2002.</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <a href="http://www.usaid.gov/locations/sub-saharan_africa/countries/southafrica/index.html"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa</font></a> (USAID)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RL31697.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa: Current Issues and US Relations</font></a> (Lauren Ploch, Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division)</div> <div> <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa%E2%80%93United_States_relations"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa &ndash; United States Relations</font></a> (Wikipedia)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cfr.org/publication/120/promoting_us_economic_relations_with_africa.html?excerpt=1"><font color="#0000ff">Promoting US Economic Relations with Africa</font></a> (Frank Savage, Peggy Dulany &amp; Salih Booker, Council on Foreign Relations)</div>
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Where Does the Money Flow
<p> US imports from South Africa are led by two billion-dollar items: precious metals and diamonds. From 2004 to 2008, <span>precious metals rose from $1.7 billion to $2.97 billion, and gem diamonds (uncut or unset), went up from $754 million to $1 billion.</span></p> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Other top American imports included <span>industrial organic chemicals, increasing from $165 million to $434 million; steelmaking and ferroalloying materials (unmanufactured), jumping up from $635.6 million to $1 billion; and bauxite and aluminum, rising from $156 million to $179.6 million. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> US imports from South Africa on the decline included miscellaneous industrial machinery, falling from $76.5 million to $54.3 million;, medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations down from $18.4 million to $11.8 million; and apparel and household goods (cotton), decreasing from $106.8 million to $12.8 million.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Leading US exports to South Africa include <span>passenger cars, increasing from $238.8 million to $248.3 million; wheat, rising from $52.3 million to $122 million; petroleum products, moving up from $108.7 million to $271million; and chemicals (organic), up from $141.8 million to $169.4 million. </span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There were virtually no exports on decline to South Africa. American exports that did decline between 2004 and 2008 included aircraft launching gear, parachutes, etc., moving down from $2.8 million to $856 thousand; and, leather and furs falling from $7.5 million to $82 thousand; computer accessories fell from $75.6 million to $71.2 million.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The US sold $345.7 million of defense articles and services to South Africa in 2007.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The US gave $398.3 million in aid to South Africa in 2007. The 2007 budget allocated the most funds to Global HIV/AIDS Initiative ($371.4 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($7.2 million), and Good Governance ($3.6 million).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> The 2008 budget increased funding to $574.3 million, largely due to the growth of the Global HIV/AIDS Initiative ($557.2 million).</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> In 2009 the US is giving $575.5 million to South Africa. The 2009 budget allots the most funds to Global HIV/AIDS Initiative ($557.2 million), Private Sector Competitiveness ($8 million), Financial Sector ($5 million) and Conflict Mitigation and Resolution ($1 million). South Africa will receive further aid to treat its estimated 5.3 million HIV infected individuals through the President&rsquo;s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (<a href="http://www.pepfar.gov/"><font color="#0000ff">PEPFAR</font></a>), independent of the foreign operations budget.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/imports/c7910.html"><font color="#0000ff">Imports from South Africa</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/product/enduse/exports/c7910.html"><font color="#0000ff">Exports to South Africa<span>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/t/pm/64739.htm"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa: Security Assistance</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/101368.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Congressional Budget for Foreign Operations (pages 310-313)</font></a> (PDF)</div> <div> <a href="http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c7910.html"><font color="#0000ff">Trade in Goods (Imports, Exports and Trade Balance) with South Africa</font></a> (<a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/200810310333.html"><font color="#0000ff">US Census Bureau) </font></a></div> <div> <span><a href="http://allafrica.com/stories/200810310333.html"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa: Concerns Raised About US, African Trade</font></a></span> (by Hopewell Radebe, Business Day)</div> <div> <div> <div id="_com_1"> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div>
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Controversies
<p> <b>US Africa Command Raises Controversy</b></p> <div> In October 2008, US Navy aircraft visited South Africa as part of the controversial US Africa Command, an initiative that left many wondering about the United States&rsquo; true intentions on the continent. The program is part of a partnership with South Africa&rsquo;s military, and comes at a time when Somalian pirates have captured a series of cargo ships. But the African National Congress in particular has been critical of US policy in the region, saying the US views Africa has little more than a source of energy supplies and fending off possible Chinese aggression in the future.&nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=36732"><font color="#0000ff">Diplomacy, Development Focus of Stepped-Up US Policy in Africa</font></a> (by Patrick Goodenough, Cybercast News Service)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>White House Wants Apartheid Suits <a>Dropped</a></b></div> <div> In February 2008, the Bush administration told the US Supreme Court that a series of lawsuits against companies that did business with the former apartheid regime of South Africa should be dropped. The suits would require about 50 American companies to pay as much as $400 billion to South African blacks and others who suffered under apartheid between 1948 and 1994. The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act, passed in 1986, made it illegal for US companies to establish new trade or business with South Africa. South Africa&rsquo;s government also opposes the lawsuit, saying it would hurt efforts to reconcile the country.</div> <div> <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2008/US/02/12/scotus.apartheid/index.html"><font color="#0000ff">Dismiss Apartheid Suits, White House Urges Supreme Court</font></a> (by Bill Mears, CNN)</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <b>Winfrey&rsquo;s Academy Accused of Abuse </b></div> <div> In November 2007, Reuters reported that talk-show host Oprah Winfrey said she was &ldquo;cleaning house&rdquo; as a result of abuse charges by students at an all-girl school she sponsors in South Africa. Dorm matrons were accused of soliciting girls to perform indecent acts, and all of them were removed after the accusations were made. Winfrey herself suffered sexual abuse as a child, and said that the incident had &ldquo;shaken her to her core.&rdquo;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL0516946620071106"><font color="#0000ff">Oprah &ldquo;Cleans House&rdquo; in South Africa School Abuse Case</font></a> (by Bate Felix, Reuters)</div> <div> <b>&nbsp;</b></div> <div> <b>American AIDS Charity Raises Controversy </b></div> <div> In June 2002, a charity backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation came under fire from the South African government when they were accused of promoting oral sex between teenagers in an effort to stop the spread of HIV and AIDS. Lovelife, the country&rsquo;s leading AIDS activist group, said that promoting abstinence will not work, since teenagers are so sexually active. The group&rsquo;s literature, paid for with American charitable donations, posits that oral sex between teenagers could help save lives. More than 50% of South Africans engage in sex by the age of sixteen.&nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,55947,00.html"><font color="#0000ff">US AIDS Charity Comes Under Fire</font></a> (by Simon Marks, Fox News)</div> <div> <div> <div id="_com_1"> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div>
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Human Rights
<p> &nbsp;According to the State Department, &ldquo;South African police used lethal force during apprehensions which resulted in a significant number of deaths. Some police officers reportedly tortured, beat, raped, and otherwise abused suspects. Police torture and abuse allegedly occurred during interrogation, arrest, detention, and searches of persons&rsquo; homes. There was a 13 percent increase in the number of deaths as a result of police action in 2008. Police forcibly dispersed demonstrators on several occasions during 2008, resulting in injuries. Incidents of police harassment against foreigners continued, particularly during coordinated police raids in areas where foreign nationals resided. There were allegations of police abuse during sweeps and home searches and other criticisms against government legislation and practices.</p> <div> Most prisons did not meet international standards, and prison conditions did not always meet the country&rsquo;s minimum legal requirements. Due to the severe overcrowding, many prisoners had less than 13 square feet in which to eat, sleep and spend 23 hours per day. A <a href="http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/other/unpan022297.pdf"><font color="#0000ff">Judicial Protectorate of Prisons</font></a> (JIP) report said that few prisoners had access to work and rehabilitation programs, and levels of frustration and violence had increased. Prison employees and other prisoners allegedly abused and assaulted prisoners physically and sexually. Detainees awaiting trial reportedly contracted HIV/AIDS through rape.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The law authorizes state monitoring of telecommunications systems for criminal investigations, including cellular telephones, the Internet, and email.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Farm ownerscontinued to evict workers legally and illegally. The law requires that evictions be approved by a court; however, fewer than 1% of evictions involved a legal process, according to the NKUZI Development Association, a domestic NGO.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Several apartheid-era laws that remained in force posed a potential threat to media independence. The independent media were active and expressed a wide variety of views, although some journalists expressed concern that the government heavily influenced and tried to control the media.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The constitution and law provide for freedom of assembly, but police forcibly dispersed several demonstrations during the year, which resulted in injuries.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The government continued its efforts to curb corruption, but, according to the <a href="http://web.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/WBI/EXTWBIGOVANTCOR/0,,menuPK:1740542~pagePK:64168427~piPK:64168435~theSitePK:1740530,00.html"><font color="#0000ff">World Bank&rsquo;s Worldwide Governance Indicators</font></a>, government corruption remained a problem.The public perception of widespread official corruption, particularly in the police, continued.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Rape, including spousal rape, is illegal, but remained a serious problem. Allegations of rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment of black citizen and foreign migrant female farm workers by farm owners, managers, and by other farm workers were common.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Domestic violence was pervasive and included physical, sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse, as well as harassment and stalking by former partners. According to NGOs, an estimated 25% of women were in abusive relationships, but few reported it. Counselors also alleged that doctors, police officers, and judges often treated abused women poorly.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Prostitution is illegal but was widespread and practiced openly. There were reports that women were trafficked to and from the country for exploitation in prostitution. The country was a destination, transit route, and point of origin for the trafficking of persons, including children, from other countries in Africa, Asia, and Europe for prostitution and forced labor. Domestic and international organized crime syndicates trafficked women into the country for use in the sex industry. Young men were trafficked chiefly for agricultural work.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The law prohibits sexual harassment; however, sexual harassment remained a widespread problem. Discrimination against women remained a serious problem despite their equal rights under the law governing inheritance, divorce, and child custody. Women experienced economic discrimination in areas such as wages, extension of credit, and ownership of land.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Although the law prohibits corporal punishment in schools, there were reports that teachers used physical violence to discipline students. Student-on-student violence, including racially motivated violence, continued to be a major concern of educational authorities and parents.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;HIV/AIDS activists, physicians, and opposition parties continued to criticize the government for failing to provide ARV therapy to all pregnant and breast-feeding women and thereby protect young children from HIV/AIDS transmission.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;Violence against children, including domestic violence and sexual abuse, remained widespread. While there was increased attention to the problem, a lack of coordinated and comprehensive strategies to deal with violent crimes continued to impede the delivery of needed services to young victims.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> &ldquo;The high incidence of HIV/AIDS has resulted in an increase in the number of child-headed households. These children sometimes turned to prostitution to support themselves and their siblings. AIDS activists alleged that children in prostitution were often highly sought after because of the widely held belief that sex with a virgin provided a cure for HIV/AIDS, but most South Africans said the knew the belief wasn&rsquo;t true.&rdquo;</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> There was a growing problem of xenophobia in South Africa during 2008. There were widespread attacks against foreign nationals, mostly from Zimbabwe and Swaziland, in May. The attacks were mostly brought on due to competition for resources and increased number of migrants from neighboring African nations. The climate of impunity allowed the situation to escalate and few people have been prosecuted. There were also reports of desecration and vandalism or verbal or written harassment directed against the Jewish and Muslim minorities.</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2008/af/119025.htm"><font color="#0000ff">US State Department</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.hrw.org/en/africa/south-africa"><font color="#0000ff">Human Rights Watch</font></a></div> <div> <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/africa/southern-africa/south-africa"><font color="#0000ff">Amnesty International</font></a></div> <div> <hr align="left" size="1" width="33%" /> <div> <div id="_com_1"> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div>
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors
<p> Ralph J. Totten<br /> Appointment: Dec 19, 1929<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 18, 1930<br /> Termination of Mission: Promoted to Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa. </span></p> <div> Ralph J. Totten<br /> Appointment: Jun 20, 1930<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 8, 1930<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 12, 1937<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Leo J. Keena<br /> Appointment: Jul 31, 1937<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 22, 1937<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 13, 1942<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Lincoln MacVeagh<br /> Appointment: May 21, 1942<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 21, 1942<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 21, 1943<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Thomas Holcomb<br /> Appointment: Mar 21, 1944<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 14, 1944<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post May 30, 1948<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> North Winship<br /> Appointment: Mar 24, 1948<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 11, 1948<br /> Termination of Mission: Promoted to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> North Winship<br /> Appointment: Mar 2, 1949<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Mar 23, 1949<br /> Termination of Mission: Left South Africa, Dec 20, 1949<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John G. Erhardt<br /> Appointment: May 23, 1950<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 4, 1950<br /> Termination of Mission: Died at Capetown, Feb. 18, 1951<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Waldemar J. Gallman<br /> Appointment: Aug 22, 1951<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 18, 1951<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 15, 1954<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward T. Wailes<br /> Appointment: Sep 15, 1954<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 29, 1954<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 11, 1956<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Dec 3, 1954. Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Henry A. Byroade<br /> Appointment: Jul 26, 1956<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Oct 9, 1956<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jan 24, 1959<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Philip K. Crowe<br /> Appointment: Feb 16, 1959<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 22, 1959<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 6, 1961<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Joseph C. Satterthwaite<br /> Appointment: Apr 6, 1961<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 22, 1961<br /> Termination of Mission: Reaccredited when South Africa became a republic<br /> <span>Note: Commissioned to the Union of South Africa.</span></div> <div> Joseph C. Satterthwaite<br /> Presentation of Credentials: [May 31, 1961]<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 17, 1965<br /> <span>Note: New letter of credence submitted to the Foreign Office on May 31, 1961; not formally presented.</span></div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William M. Rountree<br /> Appointment: Oct 20, 1965<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 8, 1966<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 5, 1970</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> John G. Hurd<br /> Appointment: Jul 24, 1970<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 10, 1970<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 7, 1975</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William G. Bowdler<br /> Appointment: Mar 17, 1975<br /> Presentation of Credentials: May 14, 1975<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Apr 19, 1978</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William S. Edmondson<br /> Appointment: May 3, 1978<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jun 5, 1978<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 22, 1981</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Herman W. Nickel<br /> Appointment: Mar 29, 1982<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Apr 20, 1982<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Oct 4, 1986</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Edward Joseph Perkins<br /> Appointment: Oct 16, 1986<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 27, 1986<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post May 22, 1989</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> William Lacy Swing<br /> Appointment: Aug 7, 1989<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sep 8, 1989<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 5, 1992</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Princeton Nathan Lyman<br /> Appointment: Jul 14, 1992<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Sept 21, 1992<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Dec 14, 1995</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> James A. Joseph<br /> Appointment: Dec 19, 1995<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Feb 27, 1996<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Nov 7, 1999</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Delano Eugene Lewis, Jr.<br /> Appointment: Nov 16, 1999<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Jan 21, 2000<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 22, 2001</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Cameron R. Hume<br /> Appointment: Nov 5, 2001<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Nov 29, 2001<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 28, 2004</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Jendayi Elizabeth Frazer<br /> Appointment: May 25, 2004<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 10, 2004<br /> Termination of Mission: Left post Aug 26, 2005</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> Eric M. Bost<br /> Appointment: Jul 5, 2006<br /> Presentation of Credentials: Aug 15, 2006<br /> Termination of Mission: Jan 20, 2009</div> <div> &nbsp;</div> <div> <div> <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ho/po/com/11275.htm"><font color="#0000ff">Former US Ambassadors to South Africa</font></a></div> </div>
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South Africa's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Rasool, Ebrahim

Prior to becoming South Africa’s ambassador to the United States in July 2010, Ebrahim Rasool was in the thick of his country’s politics. The Muslim leader spent years fighting the apartheid government and eventually rose to become a regional governor, during which he reportedly paid journalists to write friendly articles about his leadership. According to a U.S. State Department cable released by WikiLeaks, Rasool introduced himself to U.S. ambassador Don Gips as “a non-violent Islamic militant, a non-fundamentalist revolutionary, and a non-extremist radical.”

 
Born on July 15, 1962, in Capetown, Rasool was nine years old when his family was forced to move from District Six because the Apartheid government decided the area was for whites only.
 
In 1980, he graduated from Livingstone High School in Claremont. He received a Bachelor of Arts (1983) and a Higher Diploma in Education (1984) from the University of Cape Town.
 
In 1985, he took a teaching position at Spine Road High School for one year.
 
His joined the anti-apartheid movement, and eventually assumed leadership roles in the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the African National Congress (ANC) and spent time in prison and under house arrest for his political activities.
 
From 1991 to 1994, he served as assistant to the rector of the University of the Western Cape.
 
During the 1990s, Rasool held posts in the government, including in the departments of health, welfare, finance and economic development.
 
In 2004, he became premier of the Western Cape province. Four years later, he was forced from his office as a result of in-fighting within the ANC.
 
Rasool then served as special advisor to the president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, before being elected a member of parliament in the National Assembly.
 
While attending diplomatic school in Pretoria in preparation for his ambassadorship, it was revealed that Rasool paid two local journalists to write favorable stories on his behalf during his time as premier in the Western Cape.
 
Another embarrassing revelation came by way of WikiLeaks. A U.S. State Department cable published by the whistleblower website said Rasool blamed his fall as premier on ANC
leaders tiring of “preferences given to the large colored and Muslim population of the Western Cape.”
 
In 2008 Rasool founded the World for All Foundation, which aims to oppose extremism and bring together moderates of different races and religions.
 
He and his wife, Rosieda Shabodien, have a son and a daughter.
 
Official Biography (Embassy of South Africa)
Ebrahim Rasool Explains Why He Was Fired (by Thanduxolo Jika, News 24)
What Rasool Told the Americans (State Department Cable from Donald Gips)

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South Africa's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
<p> <a href="http://www.saembassy.org/"><font color="#0000ff">South Africa&rsquo;s Embassy in the US</font></a></p>
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U.S. Ambassador to South Africa

Gaspard, Patrick
ambassador-image

The new ambassador to South Africa, who was sworn into the post on August 26, is a former union leader who was born in Africa. Patrick Gaspard succeeded Donald Gips, who served starting in September 2009.

 

Gaspard was born in 1967 in the Democratic Republic of Congo to Haitian parents who had moved there in response to an appeal by Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba for French-speaking academics of African descent. His father, a lawyer, was involved in some of the freedom movements in Africa at the time, and Gaspard credits him as a source of his political values:

 

“I think my father was always completely inspired by just how wide open [the] democratic discourse is in this country, and he instilled in me from my earliest years a sense that I had an obligation to give back to my community and to serve to the greatest degree possible,” Gaspard has said.

 

Gaspard immigrated to New York City with his parents at the age of three. Although he attended Columbia University, Gaspard left without a degree in order to jump into the shark tank known as New York City politics.

 

After working as a community organizer around school reform issues, Gaspard worked on the 1988 Jesse Jackson presidential campaign and David Dinkins’s successful 1989 mayoral bid. Enjoying the spoils of victory, Gaspard served as a special assistant in the Office of Manhattan Borough President and special assistant in the Office of Mayor Dinkins, and from 1998 to 1999 he was chief of staff to the New York City Council.

 

In 1999, he organized protests after the killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant from Guinea who was shot at 41 times, and hit 19 times, by four New York City police officers.

 

In 2003 and 2004, Gaspard was national deputy field director for Gov. Howard Dean’s Democratic presidential primary campaign, and after Dean conceded defeat in 2004, was national field director for America Coming Together, a Democratic-leaning get-out-the-vote organization.

 

Gaspard served nine years as executive vice president for politics and legislation for Local 1199-Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers East labor union, the largest local union in the United States. He helped coordinate political activity and government relations on behalf of 300,000 members.

 

Although he turned down a chance to join the Obama campaign in 2007, Gaspard signed on as Obama’s national political director in June 2008 and after the election served as associate personnel director of President-elect Obama’s transition team. He then worked in the White House as assistant to the president and director of the Office of Political Affairs from 2009 to 2011. As the re-election effort loomed, he moved over to the Democratic National Committee, where he was executive director from 2011 to 2013.

 

Generally a low-key, low-profile figure, Gaspard let his feelings get the better of him the day the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, tweeting triumphantly, “It’s constitutional. Bitches.” He apologized within a few minutes.

 

Gaspard is a huge fan of comic books, and has said that Batman is his favorite character. He is married to Raina Gaspard and has two children, Indigo and Cybele. Widely considered a devoted father, in 2006 he cited raising two children of color in America as his most important accomplishment.

-Matt Bewig

 

To Learn More:

Patrick Gaspard, Top Obama Aide, Headed to South Africa as Ambassador (by Melba Newsome, The Grio)

Statement Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (pdf)

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