Illegally occupying Western Sahara in defiance of the United Nations, Morocco is understandably furious about South Africa receiving the President of that country with all the bells and whistles of a Statevisit.
President Brahim Ghali is meeting the MPs in Cape Town tonight and tomorrow having been received in Pretoria by President Cyril Ramaphosa who pledged South Africa’s “firm and unwavering support” for the Saharawis right to self determination.
Ramaphosa added his concern at the international silence about Morocco being the last colonial oppressor in Africa and its failure to keep its promise to have a self-determination referendum in Western Sahara..
When Ghali was received by Morocco’s neighbour Tunisia in August, Morocco withdrew its ambassador and began a trade and sporting boycott against the little country.
Morocco would not dare take such drastic action against a continental power.
The Moroccan embassy in Pretoria was firmly put in its place when it officially complained about a noisy demonstration outside its embassy in Pretoria on the eve of Ghali’s arrival calling for South Africa to sever diplomatic relations with the occupier.
The terse response from the host government was that the demonstration was peaceful with police in full attendance.
Furthermore the embassy was told that demonstrators were merely exercising the same right Morocco does when it makes public statements in South Africa.
Suitably chastised, the Moroccan government has turned to its state controlled media to make its feeling known.
The Moroccan World News website accuses the South African Government of renewing its hostile position against Morocco’s territorial integrity.
The Saharawi President told South African supporters, mostly from the ruling African National Congress, that Morocco was corruptly using resources stolen from Western Sahara to buy friends in the African Union.
Morocco quit the continental body when it received the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic as a member in 1984.
It sought without a smidgeon of success to become a member of the European Union.
More than 30 year later it sought membership of the transformed African Union.
The African countries who voted to allow this have been paid with phosphates stolen from Western Sahara.
They are still waiting impatiently for the economic bonanza promised them by Rabat.