Aziz Pahad shaped foreign policy of SA

Cosatu said the late former deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad will be remembered as a forthright leader. Picture: File

Cosatu said the late former deputy foreign affairs minister Aziz Pahad will be remembered as a forthright leader. Picture: File

Published Sep 28, 2023


Cosatu has added its voice in paying tribute to Aziz Pahad who it described as an astute politician who crafted the foreign policy of South Africa after democracy.

It said Pahad was at the forefront of changing the global face of South Africa as the country moved from being a pariah of the world to a peaceful and stable nation.

The trade union federation said Pahad and his late elder brother Essop Pahad, who died a few months ago, came from a family of activists in the North West and they later moved to Johannesburg.

When Aziz Pahad went into exile he worked closely with former president Thabo Mbeki. They led the fight against apartheid abroad.

This intensified the Struggle against apartheid, with many countries isolating South Africa.

But at the dawn of democracy he was involved in shaping the foreign policy of the country.

“He is remembered as leader who was forthright and diplomatic in his views. His period as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs in the administrations of former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki saw him play a key role in articulating South Africa’s foreign policy. His tenure as Deputy Minister is fondly remembered by many as South Africa re-entered the international community after decades as a global pariah.

“He led the crafting of South Africa’s foreign policy where we moved from being a source of instability in the region to championing an African Renaissance. This was a foreign policy that was clear, rooted in a non-aligned stance, sought to enhance South Africa’s relations with all countries and in particular the African continent.

“The passing of Aziz Pahad is a reminder that this generation of stalwarts is sadly coming to an end. If we are to do justice to their memories and sacrifices, the current and next generation of leaders need to reflect on their shortcomings and how they can better emulate the likes of the Pahads and many others who served South Africa with distinction during very difficult times.

“We have witnessed the rise of an embarrassing sense of entitlement, unhealthy lifestyles and an addiction to the trappings of power of too many current and aspiring leaders. This is a problem we can do without and that needs to be corrected if we want South Africa to reach its full potential,” said Cosatu.

The South African Institute of International Affairs said Pahad will be remembered for his role in the Struggle against apartheid.

It also said he was involved in directing the country’s foreign policy after the end of apartheid.

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