Foreign Affairs Committee

Session 2003 - 2004: Thursday 27th November 2003

Evidence Session

South Africa

Experts on South Africa are set to give evidence to the Foreign Affairs Committee in the first of a series of evidence sessions as part of its inquiry into South Africa.

In the session, due to be held on Tuesday 9th December, Professor James Barber from the Centre of International Studies, Cambridge, and Professor Simon David from the University of London; Mr Alastair Fraser from Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA), the successor organisation to the anti-apartheid movement, and Mr Jesmond Blumenfeld of Brunel University, will give evidence on a wide range of subjects including: Anglo-South African relations; the role of South Africa in its region and in organisations such as the UN and the African Union; Zimbabwe; and the work of the FCO in South Africa.

You, or a representative of your organisation, are invited to attend the session on Tuesday 9th December at 3pm in Committee Room 15. Approximate timings for witnesses are as follows:

Tuesday 9th December 2003

3pm Professor James Barber, Centre of International Studies, Cambridge; and Professor David Simon, University of London.

(approx. 4pm) Mr Alastair Fraser, Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA); and Mr Jesmond Blumenfeld, Brunel University.

Notes to Editors:

1. The Committee announced its inquiry into 'South Africa' on 24 July. More details on terms of reference can be found in Press Notice No. 37 (02/03). It intends to focus on a number of areas related to the role of the Foreign Office in relation to South Africa, including: Anglo-South African relations; South Africa's role in the region and international fora such as the African Union and the UN; the impact of NePAD; and the work of the FCO, British Council and BBC World Service in South Africa. The Committee has received written evidence from a wide range of sources on these issues and plans to visit Johannesburg and Cape Town in February 2004.

2. The Foreign Affairs Committee is responsible for scrutinising the "administration, expenditure and policy" of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and its associated agencies. The text of all Committee publications, including Reports, can be found on the Committee's  website at

Committee meetings are open to the public. Access is via St Stephen's Entrance for the House of Commons Committee Rooms and the main entrance on the Thames Embankment for Portcullis House Rooms. It is advisable to allow about 10 minutes to pass through security checks. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in the Committee Rooms.