South Africa’s ANC scolds Pretoria mayor for ‘regrettable’ Taiwan visit

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) has rebuked the opposition mayor of Pretoria for visiting Taiwan last month.

It called the visit a violation of its foreign policy that recognises only the People’s Republic of China.

The ANC said any officials making trips at odds with South Africa’s foreign relationships should be stripped of their passports.

China is South Africa’s biggest trading partner.

Africa’s part in the long-running global diplomatic row over Taiwan’s disputed independence from China drew new attention last month after the island nation of Sao Tome and Principe reversed its position and recognised only Beijing.

Relations between Africa and Beijing are important in part because China is a major investor in many African economies.

The mayor of Pretoria, Solly Msimanga, travelled to Taipei last month to woo investors, the country’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, which governs the South African capital, said.

The South African government, which was an ally of Taiwan during the era of white minority rule but which has recognised only Beijing since 1997, described the Msimanga’s visit as “highly regrettable’’.

“We were made aware of the visit and advised Mayor Msimanga not to undertake it as it would constitute a breach of our One China Policy,’’ the foreign ministry said.

The ANC called on the Foreign Ministry to “confiscate all official and diplomatic passports from officials who are found to be wilfully undermining our foreign policy.’’

The ANC also urged the ministry to issue a strong protest over Msimanga’s Taipei invitation to Taiwan’s liaison office in South Africa.

However, the Democratic Alliance rejected pressure not to have contacts with Taiwan. A DA statement said that “neither the ANC nor the national government it runs can dictate who DA mayors meet with in order to obtain job-creating investment’’.

The ANC suffered its worst election results since the 1994 end of apartheid in an August vote that swept DA candidates including Msimanga to power as mayors in three major cities.

Donald Trump, U.S. President-elect, put in question the “one-China’’ policy followed for decades by Washington and Beijing when he accepted a congratulatory phone call from Taiwan’s leader shortly after his Nov. 8 victory. (Reuters/NAN)

Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie - +2347088095401

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.