oa Africa Insight - South Africa between East and West : Pretoria - detente?

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-2804



In this article Dr P G Eidelberg, lecturer in history at the University of South Africa, presents an unconventional view of the power game played in southern Africa by Pretoria, the West and the Soviets. He argues that since the Angolan war of 1975, South Africa's foreign policy options actually have improved. It is the West itself which has lost influence in the southern African region, to the advantage not only of Moscow but of Pretoria as well. Many South Africans may balk at the prospect of doing business with Moscow. However, according to the author, the realities of the past five years would suggest that their attitude is in fact a myopic view. By continuing to make use of the Soviet presence in southern Africa to its own advantage, to make a virtue out of necessity, South Africa has the chance to improve its bargaining position vis-à-vis the West.

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