READING Peter Fabricius’s ‘Russian roulette’ (DM 168, 8 April 2023) one is struck by the parallels between South Africa’s growing closeness to Russia and Brexit. Both are based on mythology about the past and a display of self-destructiveness about present and future. In both Britain and South Africa delusion drives foreign policy.

While the Soviet Union, like many other countries, supported the ANC its ostensible purpose was a far cry from the genocidal imperialism practised today by Russia against another former member of the USSR. Russia has nothing to offer South Africa economically and its human rights record is worse than abysmal and totally at odds with the spirit and purpose of our constitution. While China is a far more logical trading partner, the relationship is essentially colonial and likely to remain so: South Africa supplies raw materials and buys back manufactured goods.

BRICS is dominated by two imperialist nations. South Africa shows increasing contempt for the West and its liberal values. Given the nature and needs of South African society, this seems contradictory. But is it? Was it in fact the long-term objective of the tripartite alliance to use a façade of democracy and freedom to install in due course authoritarian measures of the sort favoured in Moscow and Beijing? South Africans should never forget that what saved their country from collapse induced by state capture was a free press and the rule of law, the bedrock of Western values.

* This letter was not printed by Daily Maverick