South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa. It is bounded on the south by 2,798 kilometers of coastline of Southern Africa stretching along the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, on the north by the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe, and on the east by Mozambique and Swaziland, and surrounding the kingdom of Lesotho. South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world by land area, and with close to 53 million people, is the world's 24th-most populous nation. It is the southernmost country on the mainland of the Old World or the Eastern Hemisphere.
- South Africans rightly "go to town" when politicians and bureaucrats are accused of ethical shortcomings. The same should go for captains of industry. But South Africa's problems lie deep. We have an ethics crisis in this country. Everybody behaves that way: teachers, nurses, politicians and businessmen.
- Iraj Abedian, economist of Pan-African Investment and Research, in "SA's Capitalist Class In Crisis: Steinhoff, Naspers Battered", by Pieter du Toit, Huffpost (6 December 2017)
- I'm going to tell you a secret. It’s not a very well-kept secret, but it’s one that most South Africans don’t know. So here it is: the rest of Africa doesn’t like us very much. Being a South African in Africa is like being an American in the rest of the world. We’re looked upon with a mix of envy and resentment, our wealth and power relative to the rest of the continent ensuring that most of the time we get our way.
- Simon Allison, "Analysis: South Africa is too American to lead Africa" (27 January 2012), Daily Maverick
- Here are wide tracts of fertile soil watered by abundant rains. The temperate sun warms the life within the soil. The cooling breeze refreshes the inhabitant. The delicious climate stimulates the vigour of the European. The highway of the sea awaits the produce of his labour. All Nature smiles, and here at last is a land where white men may rule and prosper. As yet only the indolent Kaffir enjoys its bounty, and, according to the antiquated philosophy of Liberalism, it is to such that it should forever belong.
- Winston Churchill, The Boer War: London to Ladysmith Via Pretoria and Ian Hamilton's March (1900)
- ... it's an horrific circumstance that [the South African farmers] face and Australia has a refugee and humanitarian program – as well as a number of other visa programs – where we have the potential to help some of these people that are being persecuted. So I've asked my Department to have a look at options and ways in which we can provide some assistance because I do think, on the information that I've seen, people do need help and they need help from a civilised country like ours and more importantly than that, the people that we are talking about want to work hard, ... abide by our laws, integrate into our society, ... not lead a life on welfare ...
- Peter Dutton in Interview with Miranda Devine, Miranda Devine LIVE, minister.homeaffairs.gov.au (14 March 2018)
- Uri Friedman: Why did the South African government, in the mid-1970s, decide to embark on a nuclear-weapons program?
- F.W. de Klerk: The main motivation was the expansionist policies of the U.S.S.R. in southern Africa. They were supporting all the [African] liberation movements—they were supplying weapons and training—and it was part of their vision to gain direct or indirect control over most of the countries in southern Africa. They financed the deployment of many thousands of Cuban troops, especially to Angola, and this was interpreted as a threat first by Prime Minister John Vorster, and following upon him P.W. Botha. [The nuclear arsenal] was never intended, I think, to be used. It was a deterrent. Because of apartheid South Africa was becoming more and more isolated in the eyes of the rest of the world. There wouldn’t be, in the case of Russian aggression or invasion, assistance from the international community. It was felt that, if we have nuclear weapons, and if we then would disclose in a crisis that we have [them], it would change the political scenario and the U.S.A. and other [Western] countries might step in and assist South Africa.
- Uri Friedman, "Why One President Gave Up His Country's Nukes". The Atlantic, (9 September 2017).
- ... as there has been an awakening in India, even so there will be an awakening in South Africa with its vastly richer resources – natural, mineral and human. The mighty English look quite pygmies before the mighty races of Africa. They are noble savages after all, you will say. They are certainly noble, but no savages and in the course of a few years the Western nations may cease to find in Africa a dumping ground for their wares.
- Mahatma Gandhi, Speech at Oxford, October 24, 1931. Quoted in Rajeshwar Pandey, Gandhi and Modernisation, Meenakshi Prakashan, 1979.
- Compared to its regional counterparts, South Africa is a wealthy country. It has a strong economy and a solid industrial base. It has the potential to become a regional leader and assert influence over all of southern Africa. And yet, South Africa today is focused almost entirely inward, its ability to project power constrained by competition between numerous factions. This wasn’t always the case.
- Geopolitical Futures, "South Africa: A State With Many Nations" (24 August 2017)
- Huh, not much bloody "Unitate" about this place!
- I'm a Christian. I'm a South African. I'm an Afrikaner. I'm a lawyer. I love my country, and I think that this country has a great future. In that sense of the word, I'm a practical idealist.
- There are powers that are trying to manipulate our country's history by trying to portray it as dark, suppressive and unfair... Yes, we have made mistakes. Yes, we have often sinned and we don't deny this. But that we were evil, malignant and mean–to that we say "no"!
- F. W. de Klerk, as quoted in The Citizen (10 October 1992), Johannesburg, South Africa
- I prefer to live in South Africa because it's a wonderful country; because I've been there for 300 years.
- There are a number of imperfections in the new South Africa where I would have hoped that things would be better, but on balance I think we have basically achieved what we set out to achieve. And if I were to draw balance sheets on where South Africa stands now, I would say that the positive outweighs the negative by far. There is a tendency by commentators across the world to focus on the few negatives which are quite negative, like how are we handling AIDS, like our role vis-à-vis Zimbabwe. But the positives – the stability in South Africa, the adherence to well-balanced economic policies, fighting inflation, doing all the right things in order to lay the basis and the foundation for sustained economic growth – are in place.
- At thy call we shall not falter, firm and steadfast we shall stand. At thy will to live or perish, o South Africa dear land!
- I've met the King of China and a working Yorkshire miner, but I've never met a nice South African.
- In some countries the Constitution only formalises, in a legal instrument, a historical consensus of values and aspirations evolved incrementally from a stable and unbroken past to accommodate the needs of the future. The South African Constitution is different: it retains from the past only what is defensible and represents a decisive break from, and a ringing rejection of, that part of the past which is disgracefully racist, authoritarian, insular, and repressive and a vigorous identification of and commitment to a democratic, universalistic, caring and aspirationally egalitarian ethos expressly articulated in the Constitution. The contrast between the past which it repudiates and the future to which it seeks to commit the nation is stark and dramatic.
- Chief Justice Ismail Mahomed in the Constitutional Court judgment, State v. Makwanyane, 1995 (3) SA 391 (CC)
- We have never had a superhero that looks like us and speaks like us and shares the same experiences and environment as us. Comic books in South Africa are still at crawling stage. The market hasn’t been tapped into and activated. As someone who is passionate about comics and the power of comics, I see it as a challenge to overcome.
- Loyiso Mkize, "African Comics The Pack Kwezi" (27 January 2012) Dailydot
- SA, long regarded as the gateway to Africa, suffers from reputational damage due to the high crime rate (including high-profile murders), the finance minister fiasco, parliamentary shenanigans and chicanery by President Jacob Zuma over payment for upgrades at his Nkandla home.
- Morné Mostert, "Africa does not have just one tale to tell" (25 May 2016), Business Day Live, Zimbabwe
- Being convinced in our consciences that a republic would be disastrous to the material well-being of Natal as well as of the whole of South Africa, subversive of our freedom and destructive of our citizenship, we, whose names are underwritten, men and women of Natal, loyal subjects of Her Gracious Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, do hereby pledge ourselves in solemn covenant, throughout this our time of threatened calamity, to stand by one another in defending the Crown, and in using all means which may be found possible and necessary to defeat the present intention to set up a republic in South Africa. And in the event of a republic being forced upon us, we further solemnly and mutually pledge ourselves to refuse to recognise its authority. In sure confidence that God will defend the right, we hereto subscribe our names. GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.
- Natal Covenant
- Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, South Africa's apartheid leaders increased their support for and involvement in counterinsurgency programs in several neighboring states. These experiences influenced the direction that South Africa's chemical and biological warfare development took in the 1980s. Involvement in neighboring counterinsurgency programs provided training opportunities, strategies, and tactics that the SADF and covert special police units used against political opponents as unrest increased at home in the 1980s and 1990s. After the political transition in Zimbabwe in 1980, personnel from several Thodesian military units, including the Special Air Service and Selous Scouts, Thodesia's elite counterinsurgency force, moved to South Africa. Many indiviiduals in these units were experienced users of chemical and biological warfare, and some of them played key roles in incidents where South African Special Forces and police used chemical and biological warfare agents against opponents during the 1980s and early 1990s.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, South Africa's response to developing guerrilla movements and a changing regional security environment was to increase security-force cooperation with Portuguese forces who were fighting guerrilla insurgencies in the former colonies of Angola and Mozambique; Portuguese tactics influenced the South African military and police.
- Helen E. Purkitt; Stephen Franklin Burgess (2005). South Africa's Weapons of Mass Destruction. Indiana University Press. p.89
- Informal norms had become entrenched by the mid 1970s that permitted an extensive level of corruption within the Afrikaner-dominated bureaucracies. The corruption was an important precondition that allowed Wouster Basson and other top officials to use the chemical and biological warfare program in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a cover for their alleged personal gain.
As mentioned in previous chapters, in the wake of these regime-shaking events, Defence Minister P.W. Botha became prime minister in 1978 and initiated his "total strategy." Because Botha was oriented toward the military (and special forces), he initiated a range of reforms to ensure the survival of the regime that included the widespread use of coercive power. Power was increasingly consolidated in the hands of the military and taken away from civilians. Botha was an unwavering advocate of developing advanced weapons projects and covert operations that would give South Africa initiated a series of internal and external military and paramilitary operations. These included assassinations, torture, and smuggling. All were defined as "legitimate" weapons against the "total onslaught" of "red" and "black" forces. These practices were established at the top and legitimatized deviant behavior throughout the military, police and intelligence services.
Within the "any means necessary to survive" framework, preparations began to develop the chemical and biological warfare program of Project Coast to counteract and even rival the Soviet program.
- Ibid, p.94.
- The South Africans are very backward in terms of historical development. I hate South Africans. That's not a fair thing to say because I like a lot of South Africans but they really think they're the bees' knees and actually they've been the cause of so much trouble in this part of the world... I have a suspicion the blacks model themselves on the whites now that they're in power. "Don't you know who we are, man?" ... They think in BRICS that the "S" actually stands for South Africa whereas it stands for Africa. Nobody would want to go in for a partnership with Brazil, China, India and South Africa for Christ's sake... I dislike South Africa.
- [T]here is always the possibility of change. If it happened in South Africa, why can't it happen anywhere?
- Structural and institutional racism is alive and well in all aspects of our society and until such time that white South Africans accept this reality instead of constantly telling us, why must you always raise apartheid, when will we move on from the apartheid argument?
- Oscar van Heerden in The unbearable lightness of being white in South Africa, Daily Maverick, 8 January 2019
- As we coasted along two men began to run along the beach opposite us. This land is very attractive and well situated; and we saw many cattle wandering about on the land here; and the further we advanced the better did the land become and the higher the groves of trees.
- Let us live and strive for freedom, in South Africa our land!
- Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph, "National anthem of the Republic of South Africa" (1997)