Why the fuck did South Africa dismantle its nuclear weapons program? By the 1980's, South Africa was a fully Western, modernizing country with a highly trained military that kicked communist asses all across the continent. They were experienced in bush warfare in several conflicts and had a successful air force. They had the opportunity to continue running the show in southern Africa and to be a major regional power beyond that. So why the fuck would they cancel the nuclear program just short of giving in to the end of apartheid? Was the apartheid government scared that an ANC-led government wouldn't be capable of managing a nuclear arsenal?
The government should not have given TWO FUCKS about any international political pressure regarding their nukes, because they were already being given shit about the apartheid system.
And why has the ANC not renewed/continued the program? Did they lose their collective African balls? Not to sound like a warmonger or anything, but when you're surrounded by socialist revolutionaries, ethnic cleansing conflicts, and the shitstorm that was Zimbabwe in the 80's & 90's, the move made no sense. All having nukes would have done is to strengthen South Africa's military position on the continent, whether it was a white or black finger on the trigger.
Also, general South Africa thread.
Because despite "muh apartheid" South Africa wasnt the hermit kingdom evil pariah it was made out to be and like mugabe, nelson mandela was HANDED one of the most developed nations on the CONTINENT and turned it to shit.
That wasn't "their" Metal Gear. It belonged to the disaffected, misused soldiers of Outer Heaven.
SA dismantled their nuclear program in 1989, before the negotiations ever started with Mandela. Free elections and Mandela entering office did not occur until 1994. Zuma didn't enter office until 2009. The fucker can't influence decisions that happened TWENTY FUCKING YEARS PRIOR.
I always figured they didn't want the attention being a nuclear power attracts. That or they knew they'd have to turn control over to the nogs eventually and didn't trust them with nukes. Monitoring this thread for actual knowledge.
You see what Africans have done with AK47s? Imagine if they had nukes. It would just be irresponsible, like giving children a big box of matches for toys. Beyond that I'm sure the whites were worried about genocide being waged against them and being able to fight back without being nuked.
OP here. This is the question I really want answered. If the white government really felt that nervous about handing over power to the ANC, then it seems like there would have been a mass exodus of whites and especially former government officials after power changed hands. From all the sources I've read, even SADF veteran officers stayed put until they were given their walking papers.
But that's invalid, because the black government would never have nuked their own soil just to get retribution against whites. Especially under Mandela, who was nothing if not politically savvy. He wanted South Africa to remain the political and cultural power house it was.
It was done to facilitate South Africa's reintegration into the world community after being a pariah. Botha had been looking for ways to reduce the pressure, and this was one way to do that.
Part of it was Botha's concern (shared be De Klerk) that the collapse of the white government would lead to the emergence of a communist government in short order. Botha and De Klerk both felt Mandela was an ardent Communist, and that the ANC would move sharply left once they obtained power.
Handing a Communist government run by Kaffirs a nuclear arsenal was a nightmare scenario for both. Whatever their other folies may have been, both were (at least at that time) zealous enemies of Communism.
This guy recognized the troll.
If that's true, then that seems horribly short sighted of them, to fuck over their country's military arsenal like that, on the doorstep of the turbulent 90's when the Cold War ended and Africa shat itself.
Or maybe they knew that whites would never have a share of power again in South Africa, that the new era wouldn't be the rainbow dream the West thought it was going to be. If that's the case, then that's fucking sad man.
Even if they didn't suspect Mandela himself of wanting to use a nuclear weapon the fear that his government would immediately destabilize was a legitimate one. Especially with the way Angola and Zimbabwe had gone there was just too big of a risk.
Pretty much, the South African nuclear programme was a front for Israel's open secret nuclear programme
It was about to not be their country. They expected a sharp turn to the left that would result in a communist government that would destroy South Africa as they knew it. While they were wrong about the Communist part, they were right in that it would no longer be a nation that welcomed them.