In 1987, Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) — then a lobbyist for a Namibian uranium mine — testified before the Utah State Senate in support of a resolution backing the apartheid government in South Africa. Flake, a sixth-term GOP congressman and current Arizona senate candidate, opposed sanctions on the segregationist Botha government — largely to support U.S. interests in the mineral rich region.
According to Flake: “If the government of South Africa falls, it depends on how it falls if it did fall. If it fell to radical elements from the left, then this could happen, and that is a fear of many people. We would be deprived of a share of an economic source of these vital minerals. As far as the economic sanctions having a … more direct impact on the black community, I overhear we tend to think of every black South African as a radical stone-throwing protestor who will stop at nothing until the government is overthrown.”
“There are moderate elements there. There have been a lot of polls taken both ways. Most of them come out with about, that there are more moderates, considered moderate, than there are radicals. Those are funny terms and most of them aren’t moderate, they just don’t care one way or another or they don’t know about the situation. [Sanctions have] had a dramatic impact on the black population, the biggest impact is that the companies pulling out, the American companies pulling out.”