Southern Africa: A Coup De Grace - South Africa's Perfect Foreign Policy Storm?

Photo: The Herald
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analysis

The perfect storm is coming to South Africa and the country's leaders do not appear to be very good weather people. J. BROOKS SPECTOR raises the alarm. Again.

Most non-meteorologists became familiar with the term "the perfect storm" when they came across it either in the book by Sebastian Junger, or in the film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. In both versions, the storyline depicted the tragic fate of a Gloucester, Massachusetts-based fishing trawler, the Andrea Gail, and its crew, when the boat was caught - and sank - in the confluence of three late autumn storms in the North Atlantic. The resulting storm became an immensely powerful weather system, much more than just the sum of its individual elements. And very, very lethal.

Just possibly, something like an international relations version of a perfect storm is poised to buffet South Africa, and that will not be pretty. Almost a half-year ago, I was given the chance to watch the African National Congress' consultative process at work in its drafting of its foreign policy positions for its national policy congress. It was not quite the sausage-making that German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck had warned against, but, still, it was not particularly...

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