This article appears in the June 17, 2022 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
[Print version of this article]
U.S. Legislation To Punish Africa for Its Normal Relations with Russia
A bill titled, “Countering Malign Russian Activities in Africa Act” (H.R. 7311), passed in the U.S. House of Representatives April 27 by a vote of 415 to 9, motivated by the choice of half of Africa’s governments not to line up with the U.S. in UN votes condemning Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine.
The bill appears to be an initiative of the Biden Administration, picking up the baton from the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change. Sandun Munasinghe of the Blair institute reported on its new study of African insubordination in Time magazine, April 4. In the Time article Munasinghe wrote, “While the focus remains on Ukraine following Moscow’s invasion, Africa has, for some time, been a second front in Putin’s confrontation with the West and cannot be ignored.”
H.R. 7311 will require the State Department to send to Congress annually a report on what is being done to counter Russian “machinations” in Africa. The State Department will have to track Russian investments, its oligarchs, and suspected illicit financial flows with respect to Africa. The “public opinions and voting preferences of African populations and diaspora groups, including those in the United States” are also to be studied for Russian influence. The report should analyze the “skill and scope” of Russian influence and its activities that undermine U.S. objectives and interests, and determine how to counter such influence.
The bill has been received in the Senate, where it is now in committee.
South Africa’s ambassador to Moscow, Mzuvukile Maqetuka, said in a Sputnik News interview June 7, “That legislation is going to go through, and … many of the EU countries are going to support it.”
In the Sputnik interview, Ambassador Maqetuka indicated that the punishment has already begun. He said embassy workers could not transfer money from South Africa to their accounts in Russia, because of interference in the SWIFT interbank system, and Russian embassies and businesses were facing the same problem. He said he expected the Russian central bank to resolve the sanctions-induced banking issues.
AU Chair Meets Putin on Wheat, Fertilizers, Stresses Important Role of Russia
At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, African Union (AU) Chairman Macky Sall and AU Commission Chairman Moussa Faki met with the Russian President June 3 in Sochi, with wheat and fertilizer exports to Africa at the top of the agenda. After the meeting Sall tweeted, “President Putin has expressed to us his availability to facilitate the export of Ukrainian cereals. Russia is ready to ensure the export of its wheat and fertilizer. I call on all partners to lift sanctions on wheat and fertilizer.” He had also spoken of the historic importance of Russia in the progress of Africa.
In a discussion with the EU on May 31, before meeting Putin, Sall faulted EU sanctions on seven Russian banks in the SWIFT interbank system for blocking African countries from paying for Russian products. “When the SWIFT system is disrupted, it means that even if produce exists, payment for it becomes difficult or even impossible,” Sall said, according to the Financial Times.
Is Washington Attempting To Give Ramaphosa the Imran Khan Treatment?
For Washington and London, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has now stepped out of line twice. They are not happy. For months, Ramaphosa has held that the U.S./NATO war with Russia in Ukraine was the result of NATO’s relentless advance eastward in disregard of Russia’s security interests. And, for many months, Ramaphosa has retained Gwede Mantashe as Minister of Energy, even while Mantashe has aggressively defended coal, the country’s energy lifeline, despite the Anglo-American powers’ command that coal must be shut down quickly. The two issues are at the top of the Anglo-American agenda.
Recall Imran Khan, Pakistan’s recent Prime Minister, who also refused to blame Russia for the Ukraine war. He was turned out of office on April 9, after a no-confidence vote in Parliament. How did that happen? There is evidence that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu informed a former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. that there would be “consequences” for Pakistan unless a no-confidence vote were organized.
Now, a scandal in South Africa. Arthur Fraser, head of the State Security Agency under former President Jacob Zuma from 2016-2018, went to the police June 1 with an affidavit that thieves had broken into Ramaphosa’s farmhouse in Limpopo in February 2020 and had stolen $4 million or more in U.S. currency concealed in the furniture. A domestic worker, who knew where the money was, enabled the theft. Ramaphosa did not report the theft to the police, but only to his presidential protection unit, and engaged its head, Maj.-Gen. Wally Rhoode, to investigate. The thieves were then illegally apprehended, taken back to Ramaphosa’s farm and interrogated, and some of the money was recovered. Instead of being turned over to the police for prosecution, they received R150,000 ($10,000) each to keep quiet. That, at least, is Fraser’s story.
In light of the alleged large amount of foreign currency and Ramaphosa’s secrecy, Fraser raised questions whether he may have engaged in money laundering, evaded taxes, and kidnapped the thieves. But why did Fraser wait more than two years to come forward? The ruling ANC’s elective conference is scheduled for December, and Ramaphosa’s re-election is at stake. So that is at least part of the answer.
Ramaphosa has confirmed that a theft did take place on his game farm, but contends that he has done no wrong. Only if charged with a crime, he said, will he step aside, in line with ANC policy. Much of the former Zuma faction of the ruling ANC (called RET, for Radical Economic Transformation) has begun calling for Ramaphosa to step down, or to step aside during investigation, and other opposition parties are eagerly joining in. Those who themselves have come under suspicion of crimes, or have even been charged, are among the eager. And in the press, the commentators and editorial writers are, as usual, trying the target before any charges have been filed by the National Prosecuting Authority. More dirt on Ramaphosa is expected to be thrown up.
One of the historic, fundamental principles of Anglo-American manipulation is to penetrate all major political formations and factions. Since Arthur Fraser himself has serious allegations against him which have never been tested in court, there may have been leverage in reaching him with the suggestion that he had to attack Ramaphosa to protect himself.
Is this the final battle that will end in the triumph of the RET over Ramaphosa, or is it just another major step toward splitting the ANC itself, which George Soros identified years ago—while visiting Cape Town—as an important objective for high finance?
RET leader Phapano Phasha—the ANC Branch Leader for Roodeport (in Johannesburg municipality)—sees the Soros scenario. She wrote on her Facebook page (20,000 followers) on June 8—and confirmed to EIR—that the assault on Ramaphosa will create a crisis “which we might never recover from as an organization. I am seeing the beginning of the end of the ANC even if this will be a victory for our faction.”
High-Level Russian Parliamentary Delegation in Mozambique, Zimbabwe
Over the first days of June, Valentina Matviyenko, head of the Russian upper house—the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation—led a large, high-level delegation to Mozambique and Zimbabwe, spending three days in each. Matviyenko, during her five years as Governor of St. Petersburg, had aggressively promoted large infrastructure projects that are credited with having greatly advanced the city’s economy. She had had earlier experience as an ambassador and deputy prime minister.
Matviyenko met Filipe Nyusi, President of Mozambique, on May 31, and later met Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In both countries, the prospect for diplomacy to end the war over Ukraine was part of the discussions. There was also an emphasis on promoting inter-parliamentary cooperation and bringing inter-parliamentary contacts to a higher level in both visits.
In Zimbabwe, memoranda were agreed on for cooperation in Zimbabwe’s production of diamonds and the platinum group metals. Zimbabwe asked for larger imports of wheat and vegetable oil, and to obtain petroleum products from Russia. Russia agreed to contribute to the development of science and technology in Zimbabwe. Russia proposed that its company, Zarubezhgeologiya, could be engaged for geological mapping and the creation of an up-to-date, joint geological digital database, and the Zimbabweans were receptive.
Notorious Victoria Nuland Leads Team to Djibouti, Mozambique, Nigeria
U.S. Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, notorious for managing the 2014 coup in Ukraine, arrived in Djibouti with an interagency team on June 11. She will go on to Mozambique and Nigeria, where she will meet with government leaders and anti-government “civil society” leaders.
In Nigeria, she wants to discuss “free and fair elections.” But the free and fair election (according to international observers) of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych wasn’t good enough for her, so she oversaw the neo-Nazis’ coup of February 2014. The government has since banned all major opposition parties.
In Nuland’s recently expressed view, neutrality between the U.S. and Russia “is not an option.”