The Foreign Relations of South Africa, 1973-1978.The scope and topic of this thesis is to look at the foreign relations and foreign policy of Apartheid South Africa as well as the African National Congress during the mid-1970s.
The 1970s was a formative period for South and Southern Africa. A significant shift in the balance of power took place when the former Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique gained independence. This challenged the security and stability of the white minority regime in South Africa, but opened up new opportunities for the liberation movement.
The Apartheid regime was in a relative strong and secure position, vis-à-vis the black opposition in the early 1970s. It had firm, but ambivalent relations with its main international allies, the United States and the United Kingdom, due to the latter’s opposition to South Africa’s racial policies; apartheid. This thesis analyses South Africa’s response to the regional changes, and how the complex relations with its main international allies were affected and changed due to South Africa’s foreign policy. It is here argued that South Africa’s decline into international isolation is connected to the failure of its foreign policy and shortfall of the Department of Foreign Affairs, where most of the research has been done.
The thesis also looks at the ANC’s position in the early 1970s and its relations with the independent African countries, regional and international allies. The ANC was in the early 1970s weak and vulnerable, but improved its situation significantly during the decade, much because of successful international diplomacy.
Finally, this research aims at viewing the relative fall of the Apartheid regime in connection with the growth of the ANC during the 1970s, arguing that the ANC successfully used the failures of the Apartheid regime to improve its international position.