During the early 1960s when the rest of the African continent was engaged in a rapid process of decolonisation, the response of the Pretoria regime to growing demands for freedom from the African, Indian and Coloured people was to intensify its repressive apartheid system. Following the Sharpeville massacre of March 1960, the African National Congress and the Pan Africanist Congress were outlawed. The system of white domination, relying on a massive police State apparatus had to move a stage further by militarising the entire white population and preparing it for war against the black people. The defence budget was increased, the police and military forces reorganised for coordinated action and the white population trained to counteract internal armed resistance. By 1962 the Pretoria regime set the country on the path to a major future confrontation.
South Africa is undoubtedly the dominant economic, political and military power in the southern African region. With sophisticated modern equipment and expensive training, it has built up a considerable striking capability in order to preserve the apartheid system and intimidate independent African States in the region. Its defence strategy is primarily aimed at preserving internal security. Until recently, it was fortunate in having around it a series of buffer territories which were allied to the Pretoria regime and thus hostile to the liberation struggle. This added to its sense of security. However, even at that time, faced with the growing number of independent African States further north, committed to support the struggle against colonialism and racism, a major aspect of its defence policy was to intimidate those countries so that they would not support the liberation movements nor consider any kind of military intervention against South Africa.
As the Pretoria regime expanded its military power, it began to develop ambitions of becoming a major regional power in Africa. Thus a defence strategy which was initially aimed at preserving internal security, could not be divorced from preserving stability in the region as a whole.
Year by year the South African defence budget has increased. From 44 million rand during 1960-61 it shot up to over 72 million rand during 1961-62. Today its defence budget has reached the all-time high figure of 948 million rand.(2)
The rise in defence expenditure dramatically reflects the rapid militarisation of white South Africa during the past fifteen years.
Recognising the severe setbacks suffered by Portugal in Mozambique and other colonies, the serious challenge to the Smith regime by the growing armed struggle in Zimbabwe, and the new mood of militancy among its own African population, demonstrated by the strike action of workers, the Pretoria regime decided to increase the size of its armed forces. They doubled between 1971-72 and 1972-73 from around 48,000 to over 110,000 commandos organised and trained as a Home Guard. The current figure stands at a total of 201,900 personnel with the commandos remaining at the same strength as last year.(3)
It is important to note that the defence force has traditionally been all white and the expansion of manpower to its present high level has had the effect of withdrawing economically productive whites from their role in the economy. Consequently, an increasing emphasis has been placed on recruiting white women for the defence forces. But the growing economic loss, taken together with the increased number of white casualties suffered in the military effort in Rhodesia and Namibia, led the South African authorities during 1973 to train special groups of African, Indian and Coloured contingents for border duties.
As the cost of militarisation begins to increase for the white society, it is inevitable that they will have to rely increasingly on the black population being drawn into the defence forces. This development represents a significant break with tradition because they have always stressed the importance of maintaining an all-white military force. There is undoubtedly an inherent danger in the practice of training sections of the oppressed population for defence of the oppressor group. It is interesting that an embryonic army is also being trained for the Transkei in preparation for its "independence" in October 1976. The Eastern Province Herald of 14 April 1975 reported: "The basis of training for the new army will be counter-insurgency, and it will have its weapons and equipment supplied by the South African defence force." It is clear that the South African authorities anticipate using a growing proportion of the black population in the defence forces in the future.
In 1967 when South Africa despatched armed units into Rhodesia to help defend the Smith regime, they described it as a "police operation". The police force has a para-military wing, so the distinction is virtually meaningless. In any case, South African military personnel only need to change uniforms in order to operate as so-called para-military policemen since their training and equipment are similar. In that experience the South Africans suffered serious losses but African "policemen" were often placed in the front line and were usually among the first to die. Present developments with regard to recruiting Blacks for the military are based partly on that experience.
The United Nations Arms Embargo circumvented
The growing reliance by South Africa on military force in order to preserve its system of white domination, led to various moves at the United Nations during 1963-64 to institute an international arms embargo against the Pretoria regime. At that time the Security Council adopted resolutions calling for an international arms embargo and these were supported by Britain, the United States and other Western Powers. France has refused to apply the embargo and replaced Britain as South Africa's major external supplier of weapons. Italy is also an important supplier of aircraft and other weapons. Britain and the USA, which claim to implement the United Nations embargo, in fact supply a whole range of equipment to the South African armed forces, largely as a result of the manner in which they interpret and implement that embargo. These and other Western countries supply finance capital for investment in South Africa's domestic weapons industry which is also provided with military patents from abroad. There is also an exchange of military personnel for training and other purposes as well as provision of special assistance to South African technicians connected with its weapons industry. In addition, there is also growing evidence of secret supplies of military equipment reaching South Africa from certain Western countries, whose governments have known about and often sanctioned such transactions.(4)
South Africa today makes a wide range of arms and ammunition and assembles and makes aircraft under licences granted by various Western countries. In addition to importing weapons from abroad, it is becoming a weapons exporter as well. Whilst the arms embargo has been a serious handicap to the Pretoria regime, it has been able to overcome some of the major difficulties as a result of enthusiastic collaboration by certain Western countries.
South Africa has highly sophisticated military equipment including modern fighters, missiles and rockets. It has developed various nerve gases and a whole range of ammunition. As the feeling of insecurity increases, it responds by purchasing more and better weapons, hoping that this will be adequate to intimidate and deter Africans internally, as well as neighbouring African States in the area which may consider supporting the liberation struggle. It is constantly in search of the most modern equipment, which is highly expensive.
When one examines South Africa's internal situation and the size and scope of the military, in relation to the need to exercise control over the entire country, it is easy to see that the regime's forces can easily be overstretched by a major confrontation. This is why its senior military officers keep pointing to the fact that South Africa has a very "low security ceiling". Faced with this serious internal security problem, it becomes vital to ensure that the neighbouring territories will not support the African liberation struggle and that international pressure against South Africa will be eased. In this respect, a major consideration for the Pretoria regime is to secure firm outside allies on whom the Pretoria regime can rely for support, both during peacetime, but particularly at a time of crisis. The white regime has always considered itself to be the protector of Western interests in Africa and has tried to secure increased Western military support on the basis of its fanatic anti-communism and the so-called threat to the Cape sea-route from Soviet naval forces. Certain politicians in the West have echoed South Africa's policies and in recent years there has been growing support in Western military circles for the view that South Africa is vitally important for Western defence and security interests. This attempt to build up a firm alliance between Pretoria and the principal Western powers has had considerable political success in recent years and particularly in the United States in view of its new interest in Indian Ocean security.
The Collapse of Portuguese Colonialism and its Strategic Implications for Southern Africa
With the collapse of Portuguese colonialism, the strategic situation in southern Africa has changed dramatically. South Africa has been deprived of an important ally and has become directly vulnerable to the growing resistance in Rhodesia, Namibia and South Africa itself. With the independence of Mozambique, a buffer territory has been transformed overnight into an independent African State, firmly committed to the eradication of colonialism and racism. South Africa has had to face its first real security border with an independent State and the border has been heavily patrolled for over a year by its armed forces.
The situation with regard to Zimbabwe became even more serious - the Pretoria regime was quick to realise that it could not get involved in an open-ended war in Rhodesia with any prospect of winning. To continue to back the illegal Smith regime could not only turn Rhodesia into South Africa's Vietnam but it could also make the Pretoria regime more vulnerable to international economic and other sanctions, and to serious internal resistance.
The South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO) was making considerable headway and international pressure over Namibia was also building up. It had become difficult for South Africa to rely too heavily on the Western Powers for support; they would find it increasingly difficult to defend and protect South Africa from international political pressures unless South Africa gave the impression of making some "concessions".
When the issue of South Africa's expulsion from the United Nations came up last year, the three Western permanent members in the Security Council, Britain, France and the USA, used the triple veto for the first time. Premier Vorster responded immediately by thanking the Western Powers for their action in defence of South Africa and promised some substantial change in South African foreign policy, within the next six months to a year.(5)
Pretoria then began to take a series of initiatives with regard to Rhodesia which it described as being part of a wider policy of detente with Africa. It was prepared to help bring about a legal settlement in Rhodesia in such a way as not to threaten the future security of South Africa. Over Namibia it was less earnest and merely wished to give the impression of being open to negotiation whilst in fact consolidating its hold over the international Territory, by expanding its military bases and implementing its Bantustan policies.
The initiative to bring about a settlement in Rhodesia has failed and it is clear that power will not be transferred by negotiation alone and will need to be seized by the African people through armed struggle. In Namibia, SWAPO has been scoring major successes against the enemy and this has resulted in heavy South African military commitments to that region and the prospect of a major armed confrontation.
South Africa's Intervention in Angola
Faced with Angola's impending declaration of independence on 11 November, the South Africans dispatched armed units into that territory and by October 1975, admitted to it. The initial reason given was that they were there to protect the Cunene Dam and associated installations. Subsequently, on 14th October, the Defence Department in Pretoria made a statement to the effect that seven Ovambos had been killed in weekend raids from across the Angolan border.(6)
South African defence officials then began to indicate that they were following a "hot pursuit" policy, which meant that their forces would not be constrained by borders in pursuing guerrillas.(7)
Recent eyewitness and other reports confirm that South African armed forces are not only operating within Angola but directly engaged in the internal struggle for power.(8)
Clearly, South Africa is determined to ensure that Angola does not have an administration which would be hostile to it and provide support to the African liberation struggle. It also wishes to take the opportunity to destroy SWAPO forces.
The Pretoria regime will need to decide very soon as to how deeply it wishes to be involved in Angola since it cannot risk leaving its base area under-defended. The white regime probably has various contingency plans but there is the real danger that if faced with a stalemate, or the prospect of a long-term growing commitment without quick success, it will escalate the conflict by using more destructive weapons and resort to heavy bombing operations. It will also utilise every opportunity to enlist direct Western military support to supplement its operations in Angola, thus providing vitally needed weapons and other resources, but also serving to legitimise aggressive invasion of Angola.
Surveillance Systems of the Southern Oceans
Whilst it is true to say that the major concentration of South Africa's military effort has been in counter-insurgency training and the provision of sophisticated equipment for the army and the air force, large amounts of money have been allocated more recently to naval installations. Substantial expenditure has been devoted to expanding and improving the Simonstown naval base and other ports and the installation of sophisticated naval communication and surveillance systems.
South Africa has played on the alleged Soviet threat in the southern oceans in order to enlist the support of the principal NATO Powers so that they may increase their military dependence on South Africa, and seriously consider establishing a formal defence alliance with it. Its strategy in this respect received ready support from senior Conservative politicians in Britain who pressed strongly throughout the middle and late 1960s for closer Western defence collaboration with South Africa. The South African Defence White Paper published on 23 April 1969 pointed out:
"The considerable harbour and repair facilities at Simonstown and elsewhere in our country, as well as the modern communication and control facilities, all provided at great expense, are indispensable to Allied naval forces in the southern Atlantic and Indian Ocean areas."
It provided for the construction of a world-wide communication network near Westlake to enable South Africa's maritime command to keep in touch at any time with any ship or aircraft operating between South America and Australia. The White Paper also placed considerable importance on building a new tidal basin and submarine base at Simonstown.
It is significant that since the late 1960s, every set of naval exercises between the Royal Navy and the South African fleet, under the 1955 Simonstown Agreement, has been bigger than the preceding one - both Labour and Conservative Governments have increased British military collaboration with South Africa in this sphere.
Within days of the Labour Government being returned to power in October 1974, the biggest ever naval exercise between the two navies took place and provoked a major political controversy in Britain. As a result of domestic pressures, and perhaps in anticipation of using the British veto jointly with France and the USA in the Security Council some days later, the British Foreign Secretary said on 25 October 1974 that if the Simonstown Agreement was only of "marginal" military importance, and caused Britain "political embarrassment", then perhaps it ought to be terminated. As expected, the Agreement was terminated officially on 16 June 1975. However, as Parliament was informed in November 1974, this does not mean that British naval ships will stop calling at South African ports. Also, during November 1974, South Africa announced that it was embarking on an extension of the Simonstown base which will treble its capacity so that the harbour will then hold between 40 and 50 ships. The cost of the extension was estimated at about 10 million pounds. The London Times reported:
"The decision to go ahead with the plan has been taken in the belief that whatever the outcome of the British Government's review of the Simonstown Agreement, the base will still play an important role in the defence of the Cape sea-route, according to Government's sources."(9)
It is highly unlikely that the South African regime will embark on expenditure amounting to millions of pounds if it is not assured that the major Western Powers will in fact utilise those naval facilities. South Africa's Navy is by no means large enough to use the facilities by itself.
France has increased its defence interest in the Indian and South Atlantic Ocean area and in February 1975 four of its warships called at South African ports.(10)
But the most serious developments have been in relation to the USA.
With Britain's steady withdrawal from an "East of Suez" defence role, Washington has expressed concern about security in the Indian Ocean area and has negotiated for an expansion of its base facilities on the British-owned Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. There is also growing evidence of high level defence cooperation between the United States and South Africa.
In October 1974, a distinguished American journalist, Mr. Tad Szulc, wrote in Esquire magazine about a secret White House document, a National Security Council Decision Memorandum, which set out several policy options for the USA with regard to southern Africa. Policy option 2, known as "Tar Baby" was adopted by Mr. Kissinger and Mr. Nixon in 1970 to signal a policy of a "tilt" in favour of South Africa, Rhodesia and the Portuguese colonies of Angola and Mozambique. This document, in his view, "provides the rationale for the current military contingency planning for the defence of southern Africa". Mr. Szulc was referring to an earlier admission by NATO, during May 1974, to the effect that its Supreme Allied Command, Atlantic (SACLANT) based in Virginia had prepared contingency plans for military operations around southern Africa.
During 1974 several South African leaders visited Washington to discuss Indian Ocean security. In January, the Minister of Interior and Information, Dr. C. Mulder visited Washington and held talks with Vice President Ford as well as Vice-Admiral Ray Peet, a leading planner in the Pentagon. In May, Admiral Biermann, head of the South African Defence Forces, came to Washington on an apparent private visit which involved a meeting with J.W Middendorf, the Acting Secretary for the Navy. In November, the London Times reported that the South African Defence Minister "confirmed that Vice-Admiral James Johnson, head of South Africa's Navy, had been invited to the United States for private discussions".(11)
The visit was subsequently cancelled.
In January 1975 six Republican Congressmen spent a fortnight in South Africa and visited the Simonstown naval base, the Silvermine communications headquarters and the Atlas Aircraft Corporation. The group was led by Congressman Robert Wilson, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, who was reported to have made statements in favour of US presence in Simonstown and relaxing the arms embargo. Upon its return, the delegation met Mr. William Middendorf, Secretary of the US Navy, who reportedly emphasised the strong need to secure Simonstown as a port for US warships.(12)
In April 1975 a similar visit by three Democratic Congressmen took place with their itinerary also arranged by the South African regime. Two of them, Congressman John Dent and Richard Ichord were also members of the House Armed Services Committee and upon their return they undertook to work to improve relations between the USA and South Africa.(13)
Also during April 1975, Melvyn Laird, former US Secretary of Defence, visited South Africa and stated that the USA should review its arms embargo against South Africa.(14)
US interest in developing a closer working alliance with South Africa is directed not only at preserving the status quo in South Africa but also at establishing a greater presence in the Indian Ocean area so that it may be close to the Arab oil-producing region. The so-called oil crisis has already led to grave warnings by the USA of possible direct intervention to take over the oil wells in the event of another oil boycott by the Arab countries which might result in the "strangulation" of Western economies. These preoccupations together with the alleged Soviet naval threat in the Indian Ocean area form the basis of a growing de facto alliance between the major NATO Powers and South Africa.
The Advokaat System
A major aspect of this developing Western alliance with South Africa is the construction of the Advokaat military communications system by South Africa in cooperation with several Western companies at a cost of over 15 million rand. The installation became operational in March 1973 and is claimed to be the most modern system of its kind with the ability to maintain surveillance from South Africa's coastline across the South Atlantic to South America and across the Indian Ocean to Australia and New Zealand. The headquarters of this system is at Silvermine, Westlake, which is near Cape Town and not far from the Simonstown naval base.(15)
It has several sub-stations including one in Walvis Bay in Namibia, and reportedly, it is directly linked by permanent channels with "the Royal Navy in Whitehall" and "the US Navy base at San Juan in Puerto Rico".(16)
In June 1975, documents published by the British Anti-Apartheid Movement revealed that the Advokaat system was initiated via firms in West Germany, which cooperated with the Defence Ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany in helping to construct that system. In addition, the documents provided evidence that firms in Britain, the USA, France, Denmark and the Netherlands were involved in supplying equipment and spares for that system. Most striking of all is the fact that the NATO system of codifying equipment and spares has been made available to South Africa.
Initially, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand were directly connected with the Advokaat communication system. However, with the advent of a Labour Government, Australia appears to have refused to use the existing link between Silvermine and the Australian Navy's headquarters in Canberra. The Johannesburg Sunday Times reported in October 1973:
"Australia wants no help from South Africa in the vital defence task of watching what the Russian ships are doing in the Indian Ocean. A former sister in the Commonwealth and a World War II ally, Australia is now making no use of our sophisticated naval intelligence service."(17)
Presumably it is because of this development that South African Ministers no longer speak of the Advokaat system extending to Australia and New Zealand. When the Information Minister, Dr. C. Mulder visited France during April 1975, he said:
"And not far from Simonstown, we have built a sophisticated multi-million franc maritime communications headquarters that provides up-to-the-minute information on all maritime traffic from Cape to North Africa, South America, the South Pole region, and India."(18)
Links with Argentina remain.
In the past, when members of NATO as well as its Secretary-General were asked about reports of NATO links with South Africa, they flatly denied all links, maintaining that they had no military relationship with the Pretoria regime and in any case South Africa was far outside the NATO Treaty area. When NATO officials were confronted with information about the operational planning of SACLANT for the Cape route, they responded by stating that there were no plans to cooperate with South Africa. When the British Foreign Secretary was questioned in the House of Commons on 6 November 1974 by a Labour Member of Parliament, whether the NATO study indicated possible NATO defence involvement with South Africa, Mr. Callaghan said:
"Studies have been made, but there is no commitment on the part of NATO members to engage collectively or individually in activities outside the NATO area."(19)
It so happens that the Advokaat system becomes operational in the northern point of the South Atlantic, virtually where the NATO area ends at the Tropic of Cancer. Moreover, it is not limited to the Atlantic area and covers the South Pole area as well as the Indian Ocean. For the purpose of military surveillance and communications in the Southern Oceans, South Africa has virtually become the nerve-centre for Western defence.
If South Africa is providing such modern facilities at considerable financial cost what does it receive in return? It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that this high-level alliance relationship with NATO members involves a firm Western commitment to help preserve the stability of the Pretoria regime and afford it international political support. In this context it does not become absurd for the principal Western Powers to use the triple veto to prevent South Africa's expulsion from the United Nations as they did towards the end of 1974. More recently, in June 1975, during the Security Council debate on Namibia, they once again used their triple veto to block a resolution which called for a mandatory arms embargo against South Africa. Both the USA and Britain claim to implement the United Nations embargo on arms sales to South Africa, yet they resort to the veto, with France, in order to prevent the embargo becoming mandatory. This may appear difficult to understand and only becomes meaningful in the context of the growing military dependence that the major Western Powers are placing on preserving South Africa's stability and security in the southern hemisphere.
We now have authentic documentary evidence about the involvement of various NATO members in the Advokaat system and the provision of the NATO code for its equipment. It is difficult to believe that, for example, the code was provided without proper authorisation by the relevant NATO authorities or any of its members. Yet even the publication of official NATO forms with codes for equipment connected with the Advokaat system in June 1975 has brought forth further denials from Brussels that NATO is involved with South Africa. Indeed, it is now claimed in Brussels that the codification system is an "open system" and available to various "neutral States".
Public protests in several NATO countries have elicited the further information that at present eleven non-NATO members utilise the NATO codification system for spares and equipment but nothing is said as to why South Africa and its Advokaat partners were the first non-NATO countries to be provided with the codification system. On what grounds was South Africa granted the codification system? Who authorised it? Why was this information kept secret? These and other questions still remain unanswered.
Incorporation of South Africa in NATO's Area of Interest
The NATO Treaty stipulates that an attack on any member constitutes an attack against the Alliance as a whole. South Africa would welcome an arrangement which placed it in the same category so that it could feel secure in the knowledge that should help be needed to maintain the apartheid system, assistance would be forthcoming from powerful Western nations. There is a major problem in extending the NATO area beyond its present limit and an even more serious political problem for any Western alliance to formally incorporate South Africa as a member. It is precisely for this reason that the British Foreign Secretary suggested that the Simonstown Agreement should be ended if it was a "political embarrassment" for Britain. Thus it was terminated with considerable and unusual understanding being shown by the Pretoria regime. But as the British Government says, it will not result in any hindrance to British warships calling at Simonstown and other South African ports.(20)
That Agreement has not been ended to liquidate all British military relations with South Africa: in fact, Britain's reliance on South Africa's defence role has increased as a result of British naval withdrawal from the Indian Ocean area.
NATO justifies its SACLANT study by claiming that the Western alliance has to take account of the importance of the sea-route around the Cape which would need protection in times of "crisis" or during a war. The emphasis on possible NATO operations outside its Treaty area "in time of crisis" is a recent development which is primarily aimed at attributing a major strategic importance to South Africa's defence role.
In November 1975, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Sir Peter Hill-Norton, suggested at a luncheon in London that three or four NATO members with "blue-water" navies, including Britain, could combine in a group outside the alliance framework to monitor what was going on in the Indian Ocean, where the Soviet naval presence allegedly represented a serious threat to the West's lines of communication. In this way, he suggested, a NATO "area of interest" could be established beyond Europe. Sir Peter said that the West's ability to defend itself was greatly weakened by the lines drawn on its maps, including one at the Tropic of Cancer. This novel approach to create a separate grouping which could presumably establish formal links with South Africa would in effect extend NATO's operations far beyond its Treaty area.(21)
Earlier, at the beginning of October 1975, Lt. General Guenther Rall, West German representative on NATO's Military Committee, was forced by the Bonn Government to resign when the African National Congress revealed that he had travelled to South Africa the previous year under an assumed name and visited various atomic and military installations. This exposure caused considerable concern in some NATO capitals, but only a month later Sir Peter Hill-Norton felt it appropriate to call for an extension of NATO's interest to cover the Cape route. There has been no statement of disclaimer or protest by any NATO members so far, and this reflects the strength of forces committed to increasing Western military collaboration with South Africa.
It has always been known that all the major Western powers have collaborated closely with South Africa in developing its nuclear technology and plants. However, secret documents published by the African National Congress at the end of September 1975 revealed high level West German involvement in building up the Pretoria regime's nuclear capability.(22)
outh Africa and Iran have reached an agreement under which Pretoria will sell uranium oxide worth some £340 million to Iran in exchange for financial participation in its proposed uranium enrichment plant to be constructed with West German assistance.(23)
South Africa has refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty and is now an incipient nuclear Power; the grave danger which this development presents to Africa and the world is obvious. Every effort needs to be made by the international community to ensure that all nuclear cooperation with South Africa is ended.
The West and South Africa
In the context of the internal conflict in South Africa it becomes inevitable that the increased military reliance placed upon South Africa by the Western Powers makes it vital for the major NATO Powers to preserve the stability and security of South Africa. Recent history bears dramatic testimony to the fact that once a region is designated as being of major strategic importance then external alliance Powers cannot tolerate any prospect of political change in that region and become firmly committed to help preserve the status quo. South Africa knows this and has succeeded in drawing the major Western Powers into a close military alliance with the Pretoria regime. There are as yet no known formal military pacts but as the South African Defence Minister indicated in an interview about military relationships with NATO they are "not official, but friendly".(24)
The involvement of Western Powers on the side of the status quo in South Africa only serves to make the internal conflict even sharper and seriously impedes the liberation struggle. At the United Nations and elsewhere the Western Powers have blocked every proposal for meaningful action under their general policy of not wanting any confrontation with South Africa. This "no confrontation with South Africa" policy has developed during the past decade into a firm "anti-liberation policy". When confronted with the failure of the white regime to abandon white domination and race rule the Western Powers reply by stating their strong commitment to "peaceful change". In effect, this policy means that the only change which they will support is what South Africa decides to initiate and implement in order to consolidate the white power system. It is a foolproof policy of preventing all international action against South Africa since the no-confrontation policy excludes non-violent measures such as economic sanctions or a mandatory arms embargo and the peaceful change thesis involves supporting only that change which the Pretoria regime feels the need to make.
Neither Premier Vorster nor the Western Powers are unaware of the prospect of a major violent confrontation in South Africa. The Pretoria regime's detente policy, announced towards the end of 1974, was based on the need, as Mr. Vorster stated, to avoid a "catastrophe" in southern Africa.
Basically, as can be seen from South Africa's defence expenditure and the role of its armed forces, the Pretoria regime faces its greatest threat from the 20 million oppressed African, Indian and Coloured people within its boundaries. The heavy militarisation is an indication of the lack of security felt by the white regime and its readiness to resort to military power if the system of white domination is seriously challenged.
It is aware, however, of the need to end international pressures against apartheid, and as an insurance system, to draw the Western Powers steadily into its internal conflict by developing close military relations with them. There is now firm and growing evidence that the major Western Powers are fulfilling South Africa's needs despite their claim that they are only concerned with a potential Soviet naval threat in the southern oceans.
The dangers inherent in the rapid integration of South Africa in the overall Western defence planning and strategy are obvious. There is an urgent need to step up pressure for the ending of all military relationships with the Pretoria regime if the Western Powers are not to get even more deeply involved in the explosive racial conflict in South Africa on the side of the apartheid system with all the disastrous consequences of that engagement.
International pressure against South Africa has to be increased rather than relaxed and support for the African liberation struggle has to become a major priority for all those committed to freedom and peace. South Africa is today in a very real sense one of the greatest threats to international peace and security.
(1). Paper presented to the Conference on Socio-Economic Trends and Policies of Southern Africa, Dar es Salaam, under the auspices of the United Nations Institute for Development and Planning, December 1-8, 1975. United Nations Centre Against Apartheid, Notes and Documents, No. 2/76, January 1976.
(2). Figures from The Military Balance, annual publication of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London.
(3) These figures for the total armed forces include the Active Reserve Force: see The Military Balance.
(4) For example, West German nuclear collaboration and the supp]y of equipment for the Advokaat system by various NATO members referred to below.
(5) The Guardian, London, 6 November 1974.
(6). The Times, London, 15 October 1975.
(7) The Guardian, London, 25 October 1975.
(8) The Observer, London, 16 November 1975.
(9) The Times, London, 8 November 1974.
(10). Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg, 26 February and 4 March 1975.
(11). The Times, London, 4 November 1974.
(12). Washington Office on Africa, Washington, DC, "Notes on Africa", February 1975.
(13). Rand Daily Mail, Johannesburg, 19 March 1975; Business Week, 21 April 1975.
(14). The Star, Johannesburg, weekly edition, 5 April 1975; Business Week, 21 April 1975.
(15). South African Digest, Pretoria, 16 March 1973.
(16). The Sunday Times, Johannesburg, 21 October 1973.
(17). The Sunday Times, Johannesburg, 21 October 1973.
(18). South African Digest, Pretoria, 11 April 1975.
(19). House of Commons debates (Hansard), 6 November 1974, col. 1042.
(20). House of Commons debates (Hansard), 17 June 1975.
(21). The Times, London, 6 November 1975.
(22). The Nuclear Conspiracy, pamphlet published by the African National Congress, London, September 1975.
(23). The Times, London, 17 October 1975.
(24). The Star, Johannesburg, weekly edition, 8 February 1975.