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South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) went through a fractious period from about 2005 to 2009, which ultimately resulted in the replacement of Thabo Mbeki by Jacob Zuma as head of state. There was a widely held assumption that under Zuma’s reign there would be a change in South Africa’s foreign policy, not only in style but in substance as well. But this assumption has not held true. The fight between Zuma and Mbeki within the ANC was a fight largely about style and personality, not one over policy, and since Zuma’s emergence as president there has, at least on paper, been more continuity than change in South Africa’s foreign policy. Such changes as have occurred have been changes in style and refinements here and there, while as regards stated policy, continuity has prevailed. In practice, however, a new ambiguous trend has emerged in a rather diffuse and self-doubting diplomacy. In foreign policy terms, President Zuma has not been the promised “breath of fresh air.”

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