The Free Africa Foundation campaigns for African development and never passes up the opportunity to denounce World Bank and IMF policies. But contrary to appearences, its discourse is actually directed at promoting economic deregulation. Using this example, Michael Barker revisits the history of Washington’s backing of the anti-Apartheid struggle. At the time, it essentially consisted in going along with an unstoppable historical movement while at the same time deflecting it from taking a critical position vis-à-vis the economic system imposed by the U.S.
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and George Ayittey (US Sate Department, August 1, 2009).
"You have to separate the humanitarian impulse from the record of aid itself. We all want to help. Many people would say that it’s the moral impulse of the rich to help the poor, but the record of aid has been terrible."
George Ayittey, President of the Free Africa Foundation
Foreign aid is an integral tool by which global capital conquers foreign markets, a sordid history of which the US-based nongovernmental organization Food First has thoroughly documented since their formation in the late 1970s. It is unfortunate then that in a recent article titled "Food Aid in Africa: A Profitable Business," Food First cited with approval the above quote from the president of the Free Africa Foundation, George Ayittey. This is problematic because while Ayittey’s rhetoric meshes well with progressive critiques of foreign aid, his criticism stems from his desire to fully open up Africa to the free-market in the name of libertarianism; not quite the same ideas promoted by groups like Food First. So while both conservative and liberal organizations are committed to ending exploitative foreign aid practices, it is critical to differentiate the political trajectories and motivations driving their activities. This article aims to unpack some of these differences by closely examining the background of both the Free Africa Foundation and the more famous African freedom organization, the African National Congress.
Founded in 1993 by American University associate professor of economics, George Ayittey, the Free Africa Foundation aims to "further the cause of freedom in Africa and propagate ideas on liberty." Ayittey is a well-known international speaker, and in addition to publishing many books, the latest of which is Africa Unchained: The Blueprint for Africa’s Future (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), in 2009 he was recognized by Foreign Policy magazine to be one of the world’s Top 100 Global Thinkers "for pushing policymakers to let Africa help itself." Despite this Ghanaian economist’s work often being held up as torch for freedom in Africa, it would be more useful to describe his activities as serving as a torch for imperialism, contrary to his rhetoric that asserts otherwise. After completing his Ph.D. in 1981, his first connection to the United States conservative policy-making community occurred when he accepted a national fellowship at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution  in 1988. (He also served as a visiting scholar at the Center for the Study of Public Choice in 1988.) The following year he then joined the Heritage Foundation as a Bradley resident scholar, and subsequently while working at the Cato Institute  he published Africa Betrayed (St. Martins, 1992). At present Ayittey is a research fellow at the Independent Institute, and an associate scholar at the neoconservative Foreign Policy Research Institute , a research center that boasts that they are "devoted to bringing the insights of scholarship to bear on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests."
In terms of funding arrangements, the Free Africa Foundation’s Web site lists 25 conservative financial donors, with well-known funders including David Kennedy (who is the former president of the Earhart Foundation — a "key backer of neoconservatism" in the United States), Ed Crane (who is the president and CEO of the Cato Institute), James Pierson (who was the executive director of the now defunct John M. Olin Foundation), and Richard Gilder (who is the founder of the Gilder Foundation). Other notable funders include the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s vice president, the Zionist researcher Alan Luxenberg, and the controversial theorist of non-violence, Peter Ackerman. Here it is important to note that Ackerman, a long-term affiliate of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, published the book Strategic Nonviolent Conflict: The Dynamics of People Power in the Twentieth Century (Praeger, 1994) with co-author Christopher Kruegler (who at the time was the president of the "democratic" Albert Einstein Institution ) while he was based at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Ackerman recently served on the board of directors of the Institute’s US branch  — a body that is currently headed by corporate lobbyist Andrew Parasiliti (of Barbour Griffith & Rogers fame), a person who previously served as the director of programs at the military contractor think tank the Middle East Institute.
A brief examination of Free Africa Foundation’s eight-person-strong advisory board paints a similar picture of the foundation’s commitment to free markets. For a start this board includes Bruce Bartlett, the author of Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy (Doubleday, 2006); another notable writer is the controversial neoconservative John Fund, who is a propagandist for the Wall Street Journal. Bartlett and Fund are joined by a leading theorist of democracy manipulation, Larry Diamond, who is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and is the founding co-editor of the National Endowment for Democracy’s Journal of Democracy. One of the Free Africa Foundation’s less conservative advisors is Audna Linter Nicholson who was formerly affiliated with the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs — although even in this hotbed of liberalism one finds conservatives occupying leadership roles, with their longstanding president, Robert Myers (1980-95) being a former CIA agent and subsequent publisher of the right-wing magazine The New Republic (until 1979).
The Free Africa Foundation’s advisory board has intriguing links to two people who are connected to what was once the best-known organization committed to freedom in Africa, the African National Congress. These people are Zwelakhe Sisulu, who is the son of Walter Sisulu (the former secretary general of the ANC), and Makaziwe Mandela, who is the daughter of Nelson Mandela. To understand the reason why these two high-profile individuals are now tied to a conservative freedom group it is necessary to first unpack their freedom-fighter-parents’ prior engagements with imperial elites.
A Neoliberal Freedom Charter
To begin with, it is of utmost importance to acknowledge the bravery and commitment of all ANC activists, especially those who were forced to adopt violence in a bid to end their people’s oppression.  But this does not mean that the ANC, or any other activists for that matter, should be shielded from valid criticism that can shed light on our understanding of the dynamics of social change. Indeed the example of the co-optation of the ANC cadre in South Africa provides a forbidding illustration of the sophisticated mechanisms that capitalists have developed to defuse revolutionary activism: effectively buying "freedom" by transplanting the symbolic leaders of the ANC onto their own destructive neoliberal project. Patrick Bond points out how with the formal end of apartheid it rapidly became evident that "full-blown neoliberal compradorism became the dominant (if not universal) phenomenon within the ANC policy-making elite." 
Nelson Mandela in his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (Abacus, 1994) is frank about the elitist origins of his formal legal education that aimed to draw him "into the black elite that Britain sought to create in Africa." Likewise in his formative years within the ANC he recognized that the then head of the ANC, Dr A.B. Xuma, enjoyed good "relationships with the white establishment and did not want to jeopardize them with political action," a problem that led Mandela and his colleagues to form the more radical ANC Youth League in 1944. Moreover, while Mandela and the soon to be invigorated ANC clearly sought to be liberated from their colonial history, their Freedom Charter (of 1955), while inspired by Marx, was hardly a call for socialism. On this Mandela writes: "In June 1956, in the monthly journal Liberation, I pointed out that the charter endorsed private enterprise and would allow capitalism to flourish among Africans for the first time." In spite of this evidence, in 1957, the state’s "expert" witness against the ANC described the Freedom Charter as communistic. That said, this misrepresentation of the ANC’s political ideology was hardly surprising as when this same expert was cross-examined and then read an unidentified passage of text — which he "unhesitantly described as ’communism straight from the shoulder’" — it turned out that it was a statement that the witness "himself had written in the 1930s."  In court in 1964 Mandela explained that:
The ANC has never at any period of its history advocated a revolutionary change in the economic structure of the country, nor has it, to the best of my recollection, ever condemned capitalist society...
... The Communist Party sought to emphasize class distinctions whilst the ANC seeks to harmonize them. (p.435)
While not advocating communism, the ANC still presented a massive threat to white supremacy; thus, in an effort to divide their opposition, capitalist elites supported the openly anti-communist ANC breakaway group, the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC). This group then "became the darling of the Western press and the American State Department, which hailed its birth [in 1959] as a dagger in the heart of the African left." Obtaining foreign funding for the ANC from other African states also became an important issue for Mandela, and after traveling all over the world (during 1962) to raise awareness of the liberation movement’s ambitions, he thought it was necessary "to effect essentially cosmetic changes in order to make the ANC more intelligible — and more palatable — to our allies." This, of course, is a critical problem that faces all organizations and social movements with limited budgets, as large amounts of money can clearly bring one group to prominence at the expense of another lesser-financed one even if the latter is initially better organized and more popular. Recognizing the importance of this issue Mandela saw his strategy "as a defensive manoeuvre, for if African states decided to support the PAC, a small and weak organization could suddenly become a large and potent one." 
Some twenty-plus years later in 1984, Mandela was to come across the type of elite agent that sought to manipulate popular struggles for capitalism, an individual known as Lord Nicholas Bethell. Lord Bethell’s prison visit is particularly interesting given that in 1981 Bethell had been a co-founder of the Committee for a Free Afghanistan, a group that was formed to generate support for the mujahideen, and was in later years backed by the leading "democracy-promoting" agency, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) . Mandela, of course, knew nothing about Lord Bethell’s manipulative background, but in later years he would be unlikely not to have heard of the National Endowment for Democracy, which was highly active in South Africa. For instance, in 1988 The New York Times reported that "two South African groups — the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa and the Black Consumers Union" received a total of $600,000 from the Endowment. Likewise in 1986 the Heritage Foundation were advocating for a co-optive intervention into South African affairs, noting:
Existing U.S. programs to aid the disadvantaged in South Africa specifically should promote the reform process by such things as directly assisting the upgrading of black education, including more scholarships for blacks to integrated universities and ending discrimination against students in so-called tribal homelands. Black businesses’ attempts to exercise new rights to operate in white areas should receive assistance under programs such as the National Endowment for Democracy, as should labor unions operating under new labor laws. To build a true representative government in South Africa, the institutions to underpin such a government must be built.
With regard to unions, the AFL-CIO — the National Endowment for Democracy’s main labor affiliate/grantee — working through their African-American Labor Center, which had initially played a critical role in opposing anti-apartheid forces in South Africa, eventually switched tack in 1986 and even established links with the radical Congress of South African Trade Unions. To illustrate the depths of the problem in 1986 Labor Notes ran with the headline "$1 Million Last Year: Reagan Funds AFL-CIO? South Africa Activities." 
Formed in 1987, the aforementioned NED-funded Institute for a Democratic South Africa — which Julie Hearn describes as having helped "establish the terms of the debate" by "put[ting] procedural democracy high up on the agenda for civil society" — is a particularly interesting group because their former executive director, Wilmot James, went on to serve as a Ford Foundation trustee  . (Members of the Institute’s current US board include Free Africa Foundation adviser, Larry Diamond, and even token radical, former Left Forum board member Mahmood Mamdani.) Like the NED, the role of liberal foundations in the transition from apartheid is rarely talked about in polite company. However, as Bhekinkosi Moyo demonstrated in his unpublicized Ph.D. thesis: 
The [Ford] Foundation made its mark in South Africa in 1973 when it funded a conference on Legal Aid at the University of Natal. The conference brought together legal experts from the U.S. and South Africa. Many of the participants became critical voices in the transition to democracy. John Duggard, for example, later established the Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) in 1978. And Felicia Kentridge was a founding member of the Legal Resources Centre (LRC). The two centres played critical roles in the struggle against apartheid.
CALS was established with the help of Ford, the Carnegie Corporation  as well as the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. It was established at a time when resistance against apartheid was heightened. The apartheid state was also facing challenges. First, the economy was declining as a result of the global decline in stocks. Secondly, it was becoming expensive to maintain apartheid system’s multiple racial administrative structures. Thirdly, there were high-levels uprisings, for example, the 1976 Soweto one. Fourthly, there was a growing concern among whites about the viability of apartheid. Finally, there was the pressure from liberation movements such as the ANC, PAC, other opposition groups as well as the international community. The international dimension was very critical. (pp.165-6)
Clearly while such programs like CALS "mitigate... the repressive nature that the South African legal system exercises over the majority black population" this is not their only goal. Edward Berman thus suggests that:
Such beneficial programs and worthwhile intentions notwithstanding, there is evidence to indicate that the major thrust of the foundations’ overseas activities is intended to improve conditions in, say, Nigeria, India, or Thailand while simultaneously insuring that these nations’ leaders and institutional structures continue to be linked to the world capitalist system, albeit as members of the periphery rather than the center. Again, we should be surprised were the foundations to attempt to do otherwise, despite their oft-repeated public claims that their programs are not intended to serve narrowly national, partisan, or personal interests. As integral cogs in the capitalist system they can do little else but further that system’s interests through their programs. 
It is particularly worthwhile dwelling upon the Legal Resources Centre, as their current chairman, human rights advocate Jody Kollapen, is also a board member of the aforementioned Institute for a Democratic South Africa. In addition, one finds the like of Sheila Avrin McLean on the board of the American friends of the Legal Resources Centre, an individual who during the 1970s "spent a decade at the Ford Foundation as Associate General Counsel and the officer in charge of developing and running the Ford Foundation’s human rights grants program in South Africa."  Other supporters of the Legal Resources Centre’s work include former United Democratic Front national coordinator Cheryl Carolus, who later served as the ANC’s deputy secretary general during the 1990s, and is presently a member of the executive committee of the "humanitarian" International Crisis Group, and trustee of the imperialist "wildlife" beneficiary World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 
Moreover, on August 9, 2008, the Legal Resources Centre "celebrated Women’s Day and the beginning of its 30th anniversary with a gala dinner specially organized to celebrate the achievements and contributions of two leading anti-apartheid women — Dr. Albertina Sisulu [the mother of Free Africa Foundation adviser, Zwelakhe Sisulu] and Lady Felicia Kentridge." The present director of the centre is long-time ANC activist Janet Love, and their current board members include their cofounder, Arthur Chaskalson, who recently served as the president of the International Commission of Jurists (2002-08). Other notable board members include Steve Kahanovitz and Geoff Budlender, the latter being a co-director of the elitist philanthropic body the Sigrid Rausing Trust: these two individuals additionally work closely with the Geneva-based Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, which is headed by "humanitarian" activist extraordinaire, Salih Booker. Of most concern to this article, of Booker’s numerous links to the human rights industry he recently acted as the executive director of Africa Action. Africa Action is the "oldest US-based advocacy group on African affairs, incorporating the American Committee on Africa, the Africa Fund and the Africa Policy Information Center in Washington, D.C." A brief examination of the founding of these groups is in order given the key support they lent to the ANC from the 1960s onwards.
Well-respected pacifist and Congress of Racial Equality co-founder George Houser was the founding director of two of Africa Action’s predecessors, the American Committee on Africa (founded in 1953) and The Africa Fund (which was formed in 1966). In a speech he gave in 2003, Houser recalled:
It was the Defiance Campaign in South Africa sponsored by the African National Congress to which we responded, resulting in more then 8500 arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience against the apartheid laws. It was Bill Sutherland who urged us to get involved. As representative of CORE (the Congress of Racial Equality), I corresponded with Walter Sisulu, the newly elected Secretary General of the ANC and he encouraged our support. With Bill Sutherland and Bayard Rustin, we organized Americans for South African Resistance [in 1952]...
The American Committee on Africa grew out of this beginning, expanding from the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa to contacts with the rapidly developing movements throughout the continent.
However, as surmised elsewhere, during the 1960s even the once militant CORE did not avoid the grasp of the status-quo-enforcing Ford Foundation. Furthermore, even the progressive activism of the two other CORE co-founders, James Farmer and Bayard Rustin, was effectively neutralized by liberal elites during their careers. Farmer resigned as the national director of CORE in 1966 to head a new anti-poverty group, the Center for Community Action Education, "propell[ing] himself into the confidence of the Johnson Administration" with an initial government grant of some $900,000. And just prior to his death in 1999, Farmer acted as an adviser to the Albert Einstein Institution, and even obtained a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.
Farmer’s colleague, Bayard Rustin, likewise demonstrated a strong propensity to serve elite interests. Thus in the 1970s he served as a vice chairman of the CIA-linked International Rescue Committee; in 1975 he organized the Black Americans to Support Israel Committee; and then in 1982 he "helped found" the National Emergency Coalition for Haitian Refugees (alongside then president of the AFL-CIO, Lane Kirkland). Later still Rustin served as the president, and then co-chair, of the conservative A. Philip Randolph Institute — a group that received a $15,000 grant from the National Endowment for Democracy in 1985 for "Project South Africa." Additionally, around this time:
As Chairman of the Executive Committee of Freedom House , an agency which monitors international freedom and human rights, Mr. Rustin observed elections in Zimbabwe, El Salvador, and Grenada. His last mission abroad, coordinated by Freedom House, was to Haiti where he met with a broad spectrum of individuals in an attempt to determine how Americans could best help them bring democracy to their country.
Needless to say, Freedom House’s anti-democratic role in supervising "demonstration elections" is well documented,  and they work closely with the NED to promote low-intensity democracy globally. Thus it is vital to remember that as a result of a fact-finding trip that Rustin, his partner Walter Naegle, and Charles Bloomstein, took to South Africa, their subsequent report, South Africa: Is Peaceful Change Possible? (New York Friends Group, 1984), "led to the formation of [the NED-funded] Project South Africa, a program which [sought] to broaden Americans’ support of groups within South Africa attempting to bring about democracy through peaceful means." This democracy-manipulating initiative was headed by Dave Peterson, an individual who was quickly promoted (in 1988) to manage the NED’s activities across Africa, a position he retains to this day. Connections between the NED and the A. Philip Randolph Institute and the A. Philip Randolph Fund (of which Rustin was president when he died in 1987) were by no means marginal, because at the time of his death Rustin was chairman of the conservative Social Democrats USA , a group whose former executive director, Carl Gershman (1974-80) went on to become the president of the NED in 1984 (a position he still maintains).
Returning to Africa Action, their current head since 2007, Gerald LeMelle, had previously served as the deputy executive director for advocacy at Amnesty International USA, while in the early 1990s he had acted as the director of African affairs with the conservative Phelps Stokes Fund. Here it is noteworthy that the history of the Phelps Stokes Fund provides yet more fuel to suggest that Africa Action has more in common with imperial democracy-manipulating elites than countering their activities, contrary to their proclamation that they "support African struggles for peace and development." Writing in the seminal book-length critique of philanthropic imperialism, Philanthropy and Cultural Imperialism: The Foundation at Home and Abroad (Indiana University Press, 1982), Edward Berman writes:
From its incorporation in 1911 until 1945 [the end of the period studied by Berman] the Phelps-Stokes Fund based its actions on several premises: (1) that the experience of the Negro South was directly relevant to black Africa; (2) that neither the African nor the American Negro would be self-governing, or even have a large say in his welfare, in the foreseeable future; and (3) that a narrowly defined vocational education could be used to train American Negroes and Africans to become productive, docile, and permanent underclasses in their respective societies. 
Evidently nothing much has changed, although the Fund now uses honorary trustee, the Most Rev. Desmond Tutu, as part of their altruistic smokescreen — Tutu also being a patron of the Legal Resources Centre and an honorary chair of the deceptively named World Justice Project. Tutu’s humanitarian haze is quickly cleared, however, when one examines the capitalist elites residing on the Phelps Stokes Fund’s board of trustees, a prominent example being former US ambassador to the Central African Republic, Robert Perry, who is currently vice president for international programs at the Corporate Council on Africa.
Berman, in another chapter within the book hilanthropy and Cultural Imperialism titled "The Foundations Role in American Foreign Policy: The Case of Africa, post 1945," extends his analysis on the nature of philanthropic interventions in Africa. He concludes:
There can be little doubt but that the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, and Rockefeller Foundation have used their largesse since 1945 to insure the controlled growth and development of African societies through the strengthening of strategic cultural and political institutions. The primary means to accomplish this end has been through support for African education, as well as complementary social science research and public administration training institutes. The emphasis on education has had two advantages over a comparable concern with other areas. First, the quantitative expansion of education in Africa has enabled foundation personnel to spread their common ideology across a greater range of local societies than heretofore. Second, the emphasis on the provision of a commodity which ostensibly has no political overtones and which is in great demand has enabled foundation personnel to appear in the guise of disinterested humanitarians. As the above has made clear, there was little humanitarianism in these foundation attempts to develop educational systems in Africa, despite the proclivities of random foundation personnel in this direction. Education was perceived as the opening wedge ensuring an American presence in those African nations considered of strategic and economic importance to the governing and business elite of the United States. The contention that American foundation expenditures in Africa were designed primarily to benefit the recipients cannot be sustained. Rather, it was through African education that American foundation personnel hoped to exert leverage on the direction of African development, development which would follow lines acceptable to American Interests. (p.225)
As Berman suggests: "In effect, the foundations contributed substantial sums of money to programs and approaches that promised evolutionary, elite-directed change as opposed to revolutionary, mass-directed change."  Building on their education efforts, in 1978 liberal foundations become seriously involved in coordinating South Africa’s "democratic" transition when the Rockefeller Foundation brought together a Study Commission on US Policy Toward Southern Africa that was chaired by the Ford Foundation’s president, Franklin Thomas. In fact, after the 1976 Soweto uprising, liberal foundations played a critical role by "disconnect[ing] the socialist and anti-apartheid goals of the African National Congress." 
Although few radical commentators have broached the problematic nature of the close connections that exist between anti-apartheid activists and philanthropic elites (both prior to and after the formal end of apartheid), the preceding sections of this article demonstrate that this is a phenomenon that warrants further critical attention. These revelations, however, do allow us to understand why Nelson Mandela’s daughter, Makaziwe Mandela, and Walter Sisulu’s son, Zwelakhe Sisulu serve on the advisory board of the conservative Free Africa Foundation.
Like Father, Like Son, Like Daughter
Makaziwe Mandela, like her father, has come a long way (politically speaking), since she completed her Ph.D. in anthropology titled "Gender Relations and Patriarchy in South Africa’s Transkei" (University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 1993), now being a successful member of South Africa neoliberal elite. After obtaining her doctorate Makaziwe was rewarded with a Fulbright fellowship, and in 1995 participated in a Salzburg Seminar (an integral part of the Elite Consciousness Movement) to examine the topic "Building and Sustaining Democracies: The Role of Non-Governmental Organizations." Now a powerful businesswoman in her own right, Makaziwe resides on the board of directors of corporations like Nestle and Rand Water Services, and is a committed disciple of Black Economic Empowerment. 
Makaziwe is also a former board member of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, a philanthropic body whose board of trustees includes World Bank managing director, Mamphela Ramphele. Ramphele’s role at this foundation, which is dedicated to creating "a living legacy that captures the vision and values of Mr. Mandela’s life and work," perhaps demonstrates that the Nelson Mandela Foundation is more interested in capturing Mandela’s present commitment to neoliberalism rather than his past dedication to social justice. This is because in addition to working for the World Bank Ramphele is a board member of Anglo American, and is a former long-serving trustee of the Rockefeller Foundation and their democracy-manipulating partner-in-arms the African Wildlife Foundation and Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa. However, to find solid elite connections to Mandela one need look only to his marriage to Graca Machel (in 1998), an individual who has been "friends" with David Rockefeller’s daughter and former Africa-America Institute board member Peggy Dulany since the 1970s. Since then Graca has worked closely with numerous imperial humanitarian organizations, and in 1999 she received a distinguished humanitarian service award from the NED-funded Africare, a leading "humanitarian" group that counts Peter Ackerman and his wife amongst their major financial supporters. Nelson Mandela himself serves as Africare’s hononary chairman, and his personal elite tie-ins include his serving alongside George H.W. Bush as a patron of FW de Klerk’s Global Leadership Foundation, which apparently "promote[s] good governance — democratic institutions, open markets, human rights and the rule of law." (For an early demolition of the myth of Mandela, see John Pilger’s 1998 documentary Apartheid Did Not Die.) 
Moving on to the second Free Africa Foundation adviser who maintains familial ties to the ANC’s founding fathers, Zwelakhe Sisulu, we can see that like his brother Max, Zwelakhe is now a well-placed member of South Africa’s ruling elite. Following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, Zwelakhe’s career had a smooth transition from the apartheid years when he acted as the president of the Media Workers Association of South Africa and later as Nelson Mandela’s media officer, and then on to "democracy" when he went on to briefly serve as the CEO of the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Like Makaziwe Mandela, Zwelakhe is a strong proponent of Black Economic Empowerment, and is a cosmopolitan businessman with financial interests ranging from his serving as the chair of African Universal Media (a media and marketing agency whose executive director is the grand niece of Nelson Mandela), and his being a board member of various mining ventures, most notably Eastern Platinum Limited.
Here one might note that the chair of Eastern Platinum, David Cohen, worked during the 1990s in South Africa at Fluor Corporation ("one of the world’s largest, publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction, and maintenance services organizations") and then for their principal subsidiary, the US-based Fluor Daniel. Although it bears no direct relations on Zwelakhe Sisulu it is certainly of more than passing interest that in 2004 Suzanne Woolsey (the wife of former CIA Director, James Woolsey) became a board member of Fluor Corporation. Likewise Fluor’s current board members include Peter Fluor and James Hackett, both of whom are high ranking executives of oil giant Anadarko Petroleum — facts that are of interest to this article because Anadarko Petroleum (along with the likes of ExxonMobil and Lockheed Martin) in turn supports the work of the Meridian International Center, a group that was founded in 1960 and aims to "educate people of all ages about global issues, connect professionals from different countries and enrich the cultural perspective of audiences across the United States and abroad." Anadarko’s funding tie to this Center is significant as another of Meridian International Center’s funders is the aforementioned Free Africa Foundation funder, Peter Ackerman.  At this point, it is fitting to return to the Foundation’s founder, George Ayittey, who according to Ghanaian journalist Nana Adinkra Apau, was a member of the influential African Oil Policy Initiative Group. For more on this oily group one can turn to Africa Action’s commentary:
The view that access to African oil must be advanced as a "vital interest" of the U.S. was first publicly developed in a 2002 white paper produced by the oil business experts, consultants and US policymakers making up the African Oil Policy Initiative Group (AOPIG), a project of the neo-conservative Jerusalem-based think tank, the Institute for Advanced Strategic and International studies. The AOPIG report argues that "African oil is not an end but a means: to both greater U.S. energy security and more rapid African economic development." The AOPIG first proposal for African energy security is the expanded pursuit by "participating companies" of "all the oil available in the region." Among its policy recommendations to this end are expanded land privatization, debt cancellation highly conditioned upon free market structural reforms and the establishment of a regional unified U.S. military command for the African continent, similar to U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) President Bush announced in February 2007.
Here it is appropriate to examine some of AOPIG’s former members. To begin with, one might start with PR hack (for oil), Janice Van Dyke Walden, who was the founding president of the US foundation for the Nelson Mandela-supported United World College of the Atlantic, and has been an "active supporter and volunteer" with the Christian evangelical group Living Water International. Another AOPIG member who serves on the board of this "holy water" outfit is real estate power broker Mark Edward Winter. Remaining on the combined theme of oil and water, AOPIG happened to be co-chaired by Paul Michael Wihbey, the president of a consulting firm Global Water and Energy Strategy Team — a team whose two other co-founders were the Zionist real estate magnate Mark Broxmeyer (who is chairman of the AIPAC-associated think tank the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs) and Nigerian oil executive, Emmanuel Egbogah. Finally, yet another important person to have enjoyed membership of AOPIG is Melvin Spence, who served as an aide to William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana), an individual whose strong support of AOPIG meant he was described in Harper’s magazine as a "Tollbooth Operator on the Road to Africa." 
By delineating the manner by which elites have hijacked the processes of social change, this article does not mean to suggest that the vigorous and popular resistance against apartheid was pointless. Far from it; without the groundswell of public participation that rose to quash inequality, it is likely that transnational elites would have left the apartheid state profitably intact. However, owing to widespread public outrage about apartheid, imperial elites have had to actively work to undermine such displays of democratic participation. In this regard, the Free Africa Foundation clearly poses a serious threat to public freedom, and the foundation’s demands for free-markets that facilitate imperial exploitation of Africa (most notably their oil) need to be vocally challenged by all. Furthermore, it is vital that lessons are learned from South Africa’s elite-guided transition from apartheid to neoliberalism. Democracy-manipulating institutions like the Ford Foundation and the National Endowment for Democracy, which played a central role in South African affairs, are for example currently supporting Palestinians against their brutal oppressors, the Israelis; and so the question remains, "at what price does this support come?" If we don’t attempt to resolve such questions now, by the time we find out the sad reality is that the chance for justice may have passed us by, and injustice may simply be further institutionalized.