US lawmakers criticise South Africa over Israel, Hamas, China

FILE - South Africa President, Cyril Ramaphosa. Photograph: Telegraph Photo
US lawmakers are increasingly vocal in their criticism of Pretoria’s ties to Hamas, Russia and China.

South Africa is quickly running out of friends on Capitol Hill as it cosies up to US rivals.

Already angry over Pretoria’s decision to host naval drills with Russia and China last year, US lawmakers are now demanding that the Joe Biden administration launch a “comprehensive review” of bilateral ties following what they call South Africa’s “politically motivated” suit against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

Legislation to that effect was introduced last week by the Republican chairman of the House foreign affairs panel on Africa, with support from a Jewish Democrat colleague.

“The relationship between the US and South Africa has been and continues to be very important. But there are times, recently, that South Africa has gone out of its way to try to poke its friend in the eye,” says Gregory Meeks, the top Democrat on the full house foreign affairs committee.