The ANC and the South African government appear to be pursuing contradictory agendas in diplomatic interactions with Morocco, as Pretoria maintains cordial relations with Rabat, but the party continues to pursue a fight with the north African nation.
The ANC heavily criticised Spain for recognising Morocco’s proposal for autonomy for Western Sahara, saying the move undermined long-standing African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) resolutions on the territory.
On Monday, ANC treasurer-general Paul Mashatile said the party’s national executive committee (NEC) was dismayed by the Spanish government’s decision.
The NEC reiterated the resolutions that confirmed the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and that “only a free and fair referendum of the Saharawi people could decide their fate”.
“The ANC condemns the declaration as an attempt to circumvent the AU and UN resolutions and to create a Bantustan, denying the inalienable right of the Saharawi people to freedom, human rights and dignity.
“The ANC calls on all freedom-loving people to stand in solidarity with the people of the Saharawi Arab Republic,” Mashatile said in statement conveyed on behalf of the NEC.
Three months ago, South Africa appointed Ebrahim Edries as its new ambassador to Morocco.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s move to appoint an ambassador was seen as gesture of improving relations between the two nations.