Pretoria denies shift in Morocco policy
Publish date: 04 December 2017
Issue Number: 754
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has slammed a City Press report addressing a ‘major change of policy’ by South Africa towards Morocco and the Western Sahara issue. In an interview with the newspaper in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, President Jacob Zuma said Morocco would send its ambassador back to Pretoria as a first sign that the two countries were resuming diplomatic relations which were severed in 2004. The decision appeared to mark a U-turn in a long-standing policy held by the ANC not to recognise Morocco because of its treatment of the Sahrawi people. Earlier this year, the governing party criticised the AU for readmitting Morocco into the continental bloc. Speaking in her capacity as the chairperson of the ANC's international relations subcommittee, Molewa told News24 that the report is ‘mischievous, untruthful and twisted’. She noted that it was the Moroccans who withdrew its diplomatic ties when then President Thabo Mbeki established ties with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic in 2004.