Federation of South Africa
Flag of the Federation of South Africa (SWM)
Shield of the Federation of South Africa (SWM)
Flag Shield
Location of the Federation of South Africa (SWM)
Location in Africa
Capital Unity, Capital Region
Largest city Johannesburg, Transvaal
Official languages English
Demonym South African(s)
Government Semi-presidential republic
• President
Graham Hughes (UFP)
• Prime Minister
Sean Hunter (UFP)
• Speaker
Michael Beauregard (UFP)
Legislature Federal Parliament
Federal Assembly
• Treaty of Salisbury
31 May 1963
• 2015 estimate
Currency South African dollar (ZAD)
Time zone GMT+2
Date format yyyy-mm-dd
Drives on the left
Internet TLD .za
The Federation of South Africa (FSA, commonly South Africa) is a large federation of eleven constituent nations which occupies the Southern African region. It is bordered by Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania to the north, and Mozambique to the east. The Atlantic Ocean borders the FSA in the west, and the Indian Ocean in the south and east. It is the only country in the world to border both these oceans. The capital city, Unity, is a planned city located where the borders of Bechuanaland, Rhodesia, and the Transvaal converge. Unity is located in the autonomous Capital Region, and is not subject to any of the constituent nations.

The Federation has a complex political history, but was formally constituted on 31 May 1963, with the signing of the Treaty of Salisbury. The Treaty, itself a complex political document, broke the Republic of South Africa (RSA) up into four constituent nations, which then merged with the three constituent nations of the Central African Federation (CAF). Included in the merger were also the South African-administered territory of South West Africa (Luderitzia today), Bechuanaland, Swaziland, and Basutoland (Lesotho today). The founders of the Federation, hoping to ease racial tensions, provided in the Treaty that six of the constituent nations would be allocated to black South Africans, and five would be allocated to white South Africans. The Federal government - one of the most complex in the world - is open to all races, with certain conditions. A semi-presidential republic, the FSA has a head of state known as the President, and a head of government known as the Prime Minister. The Federal Parliament is the legislative branch of government, and is sovereign, subject only to the Treaty of Salisbury. The Federal government also has a judicial branch, consisting of two courts of equal standing, namely the High Court of Justice, and the Federal Court of Appeals.

The constituent nations of the FSA, from north to south, are the Republic of Zambezia, the Republic of Nyasaland, the Republic of Rhodesia, the Republic of Luderitzia, the Republic of Bechuanaland, the Republic of the Transvaal, the Cape Republic, the Kingdom of Swaziland, the Orange River Republic, the Kingdom of Zululand, and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Each nation has its own government. Zambezia, Nyasaland, Bechuanaland, Zululand, Lesotho, and Swaziland are allocated to black FSA citizens, while Rhodesia, Luderitzia, the Transvaal, the Cape, and the Orange River are allocated to white FSA citizens. Each nation has much leeway in determining to what extent it wishes to implement these racial exclusivity clauses of the Salisbury Treaty, and are granted absolute discretion in matters relating to non-black and non-white persons. Zululand and the Orange River are considered to be the most exclusive nations from the black and white blocs respectively, whereas Bechuanaland and the Cape are seen as the most racially inclusive. The Capital Region is governed by the Federal government, and enforces a non-discriminatory racial policy.

The FSA is widely considered to be the most powerful nation in Africa, and one of the most powerful in the world. It has the largest economy on the continent, boasts the strongest military, and one of the highest populations, at around 115 million people.


-- under construction --


In 1963 the Central African Federation, a British self-governing colony, was set to be broken up. Despite prior assurances by the British government to the Prime Minister of the CAF, Sir Roy Welensky, that it would not support secession on the part of the three territories (Nyasaland, Northern Rhodesia, and Southern Rhodesia), the British government capitulated to African nationalist demands and facilitated the secession of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia. This enraged the white political establishment in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, who had been working toward complete independence for the entire federation, which had become a single economic unit. The anti-British sentiment in Southern Rhodesia was further amplified when the British government made its intention to not grant the same independence it was giving Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia, to Southern Rhodesia, known. This double standard, combined with the British government going against its prior assurance of territorial integrity, convinced the Salisbury government that the United Kingdom had completely abandoned white Rhodesians and sought only to appease the increasingly-militant black nationalists of the federation.

At this time, the Central African Federation was the only British self-governing territory which had local command of its own military forces. The Army 1st Battalion (known as the Rhodesian Light Infantry, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel RA Edwards) was put on alert at their barracks in Salisbury, to prepare to protect the territorial integrity of the federation.

The political establishment, however, knew that if the CAF remained landlocked, its independence would be superficial, given that the neighboring states were growing increasingly hostile toward Salisbury. Any bid for independence by the CAF must thus have included access to oceanic trade routes, to ensure economic viability. While widespread consensus existed at the time that the Rhodesian military would succeed in a hostilities against any of the federation's neighbors (with the exception of South Africa), the military could not hold such territorial gains. A political solution had to be sought.

It was in this context that Ian Douglas Smith, a junior backbencher from Southern Rhodesia, led a secret delegation to the Republic of South Africa - which, at the time, was also ruled by a white minority - to discuss the possibility of amalgamation between the Central African Federation and South Africa. At the time, South Africa also ruled the territory of South West Africa (Luderitzia today) as part of a League of Nations mandate from the First World War.

The first meetings were held strictly between representatives of Southern Rhodesia and South Africa. Predictably, there were immediate differences over the vision for the future. The conservatively-minded South Africans, who had only two years prior, in 1961, succeeded in reforming the Union into the Republic, sought to protect their gains. The South African faction thus argued that if there is to be an amalgamation, the new nation must be a unitary state subject to white political control. Black tribes would be granted territories and rights of self-determination, but still remain within the new state. The white Rhodesians, however, despite sharing their South African counterparts' conservatism, did not agree on such a strict unitarist vision. Wishing to preserve their English heritage and not be subsumed into Afrikanerdom, the Rhodesians insisted on a federal arrangement, with the understanding that the Central African territories would be for the English, and South Africa for the Afrikaners. Fearing the Rhodesians would eventually allow blacks progressively more political power, which would threaten white rule at the national level, the South Africans refused.

It was because of this deadlock that unknown parties from the Rhodesian delegation leaked the existence of the meetings to the press. The British, fearing that their plans for the independence of Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia were in jeopardy, immediately called upon the Central African Federation military to seize power on behalf of the Crown. The local forces, however, were in large part loyal to the Salisbury government, and refused. African nationalist groups, however, erupted in protest throughout the federation, leading to the Army 1st Battalion being deployed into Lusaka to ensure there is no attempted secession.

The now-publicized nature of the meetings led to representatives from the British protectorates of Bechuanaland, Basutoland (Lesotho today), and Swaziland being invited to attend the meetings. Bechuanaland and Basutoland were destined to become enclaves of the new amalgamated state if the negotiations were successful, which convinced the conveners that their participation would be vital. The expanded participation framework culminated in the Conference for a Greater South Africa, held on and off in Cape Town between 20 April and 25 May 1963.

These negotiations culminated in the Treaty of Salisbury, where unilateral declarations of independence on the part of the CAF, Bechuanaland, Basutoland, and Swaziland, were combined with the breakup of the Republic of South Africa into its former four territories, and finally, with all the now-independent states forming the Federation of South Africa (FSA). The drafters of the Treaty were conscious of the racial tension between white 'Europeans' and black 'Africans' who were forced into living together as a result of the Scramble for Africa. In this light, in effort to preserve racial harmony, certain racial exclusivity clauses in the Treaty provided that some of the constituent nations would be reserved for blacks, and others for whites. The intensely conservative whites of the Republic of South Africa conceded the Province of Natal - Zululand today - and the whites of the CAF conceded both Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia to black rule. Swaziland, Basutoland (Lesotho today), and Bechuanaland had no significant white populations and bargained easily for their own rule by the black majority. South West Africa (Luderitzia today), the Cape, the Transvaal, and the Orange Free State (Orange River today) provinces of the Republic of South Africa were reserved for whites, along with Southern Rhodesia (simply Rhodesia today) of the CAF.

The British government immediately condemned the act, declaring it illegal and thus invalid. The transitional administrations of Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, who were gearing up for independence under black majority rule, also condemned the act, declaring that those territories were no longer part of the Central African Federation and would thus not cooperate with any amalgamation. At that time, however, they had no control over the armed forces, which were still managed by the Federal government in Salisbury.

The Frontline War begins

The FSA has been engaged in constant armed conflict since shortly after it was established. This conflict has been dubbed 'the Frontline War', as most of it has taken place on or just beyond the Federation's borders with Angola, the Congo, and Mozambique.

Around February 1964 the South West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO) established a forward base in preparation for its fight to gain majority rule and independence for the territory of 'Namibia', which had become the Republic of Luderitzia less than a year prior. The erstwhile South African Defense Force (SADF) was still in the process of reorganization along with the forces that comprised the other new states in the Federation, but was in any case still responsible for the security of the territory. When word reached the local garrison of the new base, an aerial assault was mounted. This first battle of the Frontline War ended with the SADF destroying the SWAPO base and pushing the surviving forces across the border into Angola.

The battle shocked the incoming administration of Luderitzia and the Federation as a whole. This led to the recently elected Prime Minister of Luderitzia, Abraham Meiring, ordering a rapid militarization of the Luderitzia Republican Police. The incoming Chief of Defense Staff of the new South African Federal Armed Forces (SAFAF), General Ryan Holder, objected to Luderizia's attempted appropriation of defense jurisdiction, as the Salisbury Treaty had provided that defense would be a Federal matter. Meiring, supported by the leaders of Zambezia and Zululand, stated that policing was a territorial matter, and the territorial government can organize its police force as it sees fit.

At this time a transitional government was still administering the establishment of the Federal government. The head of state was known as the "Interim Head of State", and former Rhodesian Prime Minister Winston Field was chosen for this position. The head of government was temporarily, by operation of the Salisbury Treaty, made into two positions, both of which were known as "Officer Administering the Government". The last Prime Minister of the Republic of South Africa, Hendrick Frensch Verwoerd, as well as the popular chief negotiator of the Salisbury Treaty from Rhodesia, Ian Smith, were given this position.

On arbitrating the Luderitzia affair, Verwoerd and Smith conceded to the territorial demands, stating that how police forces are organized would be up to the respective governments of the constituent nations. As a compromise, however, the heads of government ordered the formation of the Joint Forces Operations Committee (JFOC), which would facilitate coordination between Federal forces and territorial police.

While this was taking place, however, SWAPO capitalized on the confusion and penetrated into the northern farmlands of Luderitzia. 6 farms were raided in close succession, killing 11 Luderitzian civilians. The SADF was not able to capture or kill the assailants, who operated in small groups and were thus able to disappear easily into the countryside. Over the next few weeks various such attacks took place which killed dozens of civilians, demoralizing the population. Securing the northern border was thus made the Lurderitzian government's top priority.

The Portuguese, at this stage in time, were engaged in a colonial war against the Marxist African nationalist People's Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), which was providing support to SWAPO. With SWAPO rebels moving to and fro across the border with Portuguese Angola, South Africa had little choice but to enter into the conflict. Luderitzian PM Abraham Meiring, in his known rogue-esque style, approached the local Portuguese authority first without approval from the Federal government and brokered a deal to allow Luderitzian Republican Police to cross the border in pursuit of SWAPO forces.

The Federal government silently condemned this unauthorized behavior, but took advantage of the momentum Meiring had created. The Federal Armed Forces were now coming onto its own and took the place of the Republican Police in pursuing enemies across the border. The police would, instead, shoulder full responsibility for operations on the south side of the border, under the oversight of JFOC.

In 1975 Portugal granted independence to both its Southern African territories of Angola and Mozambique. While fighting had been fierce before then, large tracts of South Africa's borders were now completely exposed to infiltration. The Portuguese exit from Africa, however, was largely foreseeable, which allowed the SAFAF to take precautionary measures. Up until that time South Africa had been allied with Portugal, in Angola, against both the MPLA and the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and in Mozambique, against the Mozambique Liberation Front (FRELIMO). However, in Angola the MPLA and UNITA had long since become rivals which also engaged in warfare against one another. This presented an opportunity for the South Africans.

In the run-up to the Portuguese withdrawal plans were put into place whereby UNITA would become a South African ally. The South Africans agreed to recognize UNITA as the sole and legitimate government of Angola and will support them financially and militarily in pursuance of that goal. UNITA, in turn, agreed to provide spies and local manpower to the SAFAF in its fight against SWAPO. The alliance, for the South Africans at least, also made its frequent ventures into Angola look less like 'racist imperialism' as the United Nations would have it, and more like a legitimate cause. The facade was weak, but sufficient.

Antonius Teenhuisen elected President

The presidency of Sir Archibald Monroe was marked, according to vast swaths of conservative South African society, by a hopelessly inadequate response to the Frontline War and the smaller territorial insurgencies which were springing up in rural Zambezia, Luderitzia, and Nyasaland.

General Antonius Balthazar Teenhuisen, the incumbent Chief of Defense Staff, announced his candidacy for President in 1974. His central campaign planks were law and order, and defeating South Africa's foreign enemies. Warmongering had long been a taboo in South African society given how the Salisbury Treaty arrangement was still seen as very delicate among the Unity establishment. But Teenhuisen was known - and disliked in political circles - for his forthright and blunt approach, which is how he also approached the campaign.

South African law, at that stage, did not prohibit active duty military leaders from pursing political office, nor did any martial regulation require military employees to resign their commission before pursing other employment.

Monroe ran, once again, under the Federal Labour Party banner, and received his party's endorsement early on. Teenhuisen, however, ran as an independent candidate, and received only endorsements from constituent nation-level political parties. No Federal party gave him any support.

The other major contender in the race was the United Federal Party's Sir James Stowel, MP, the then-Leader of the UFP. The UFP at the time of the election held a parliamentary plurality, meaning it was the largest party in the Federal legislature, but did not have an outright majority. The Prime Minister, Heinrich Oberholzer, was also from the UFP.

As a seemingly direct result of Teenhuisen's campaign, the South African public began pushing for the Federal government to either amend the Defense Act or pass new legislation which would allow the military to respond more effectively to threats. Expecting Stowel to win the election, the UFP passed the Defense Laws (War Powers) Amendment Act, commonly known as the War Powers Act. This law gave the President certain powers and duties which many argued defeated the purpose of a 'ceremonial' presidency.

Teenhuisen, however, won the election in a landslide. Political commentators immediately attributed this to the fearful desperation of the South African public to secure the nation's borders and hinder any attempts by insurgents to gain control of South Africa's rural areas. The fact that Teenhuisen did not run as a partisan candidate, therefore, had a negligible effect on a populace preoccupied with thoughts of their own survival. White South Africans overwhelmingly supported Teenhuisen for these reasons, while he enjoyed significant support among black South Africans because of his support of slightly greater control of territorial militias by the constituent nations.

With Teenhuisen's massive mandate, he set out to create what has become the modern South African military-industrial complex. To ensure Parliament's support, one of Teenhuisen's first acts was to appoint Sir James Stowel his Chief of Staff, which is the most significant political appointment the President can make without the Prime Minister. By handing the UFP this amount of presidential influence, Teenhuisen all but guaranteed the UFP plurality in the legislature would approve of his policies which required such approval.

In 1977, when Ian Smith was elected Prime Minister on a similarly pro-law and order and pro-security platform, Teenhuisen was appointed Minister of Defense. This sent shockwaves throughout South Africa's political establishment, with condemnations coming from all major political groups, as well as the United Federal Party. No law, however, prohibited this unorthodox appointment, which made Antonius Teenhuisen the President, Defense Minister, and Chief of Defense Staff at the same time. This effectively put Teenhuisen in complete control of South Africa's defense and military policy.

State militarization

After the UFP started distancing itself from Teenhuisen as well as Smith, the President and Prime Minister made another shock announcement.

On 2 February 1978 the Federal Conservative Party (FCP) was formed by Smith and a handful of other UFP defectors who agreed with the President's military agenda. This broke the UFP's parliamentary majority, which it had won only the year before, with Smith's election.

Brazzaville Raid

By far the most controversial military act by the Federation since its establishment was the Brazzaville Raid of 1988, authorized by President Teenhuisen, who had been elected in 1975 by a desperate and fearful public with a massive mandate. After Teenhuisen's term ended in 1995, laws were passed prohibiting the head of state from holding ministerial or active military positions.

In 1988 the University of Brazzaville, in the Republic of the Congo, hosted an international social justice conference arranged by the International Anti-Racist Federation (IARF) in opposition to South Africa's 'racist' federal structure. An annual conference which is held throughout the world, in 1987 the IARF started publicly calling for funding for African liberation movements fighting an insurgent war against the South African Federal government. The 1987 conference was held in Mexico City, and was attended by known South African dissidents - deemed to be terrorists by the Federal government - who were given assurances of financial support.

The South African government immediately condemned this in the international press as an obvious indirect attack on the Federation's sovereignty, and warned that providing financial support to South Africa's enemies is an act of war which robs civilians of their ordinary Geneva Law protection. The IARF, however, continued to campaign against South Africa and call for financial backers of the liberation movements to continue their assistance.

One week before the 1988 conference was to be held, the South African government issued stern warnings to both the Congolese government, the University of Brazzaville, and the IARF that their 'activism' went beyond campaigning against a certain policy, and amounted to engaging in war against South Africa. The conference, however, went ahead, and attracted thousands of social justice activists - mostly from the West - as well as wealthy individuals who were inclined to their cause.

On the second day of the conference, in the morning as the proceedings were being convened, a flight of 10 South African Canberra bombers and several Hawker Hunter fighters, staged a surprise attack on the university campus. The main hall where the conference was taking place was completely destroyed as well as several adjacent structures. 147 people were killed and over 1,200 injured. The Federation immediately claimed responsibility within minutes of the attack in a press briefing, and justified the attack on grounds of international law of armed conflict. The presence of financial backers of terrorism, as well as several high-ranking 'terrorists' themselves, made the university venue a legitimate military target, according to the South Africans.

International outrage came swiftly in the wake of the attack. The United States government, whose citizens made up a substantial portion of the activists killed in the attack, condemned the South Africans government as a rogue threat to international peace and stability. The United Nations Security Council was called upon to intervene, however, by the time the meeting took place, the United States vetoed the resolution which would have called for an international military coalition against South Africa. There is much speculation to this day as to what made the Americans change their tone, however, the most likely explanation is that Israel came to the assistance of the FSA in a backroom deal.

The Organization of African Unity (OAU), however, was not impressed by this state of affairs.

Battle of Luambo

The largest battle, to date, of the war took place on 14 May 1992 when a secretly-established OAU force comprising 12,000 troops surrounded and besieged the SAFAF base near Luambo, in the Katanga Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. South Africa had long supported the Katanga rebels in their effort to secede the province from the DRC (in order to provide a friendly buffer between the FSA and OAU states) and were granted a forward operating base. The base had a garrison of some 3,000 army soldiers, however, the Katanga rebels insisted that it would take care of regional patrols. Erring on this state of affairs the base commanders and FSA army did not take security precautions, assuming any large force would be caught by rebel scouts days before it came close to the base.

The OAU force, which comprised mostly Nigerian and Kenyan soldiers, succeeded in moving under the cover of darkness, meeting no rebel resistance whatsoever, and surrounded the base on all sides, with the exception of Lake Tshangalele which was to the base's south.

On the morning of 13 May 1992 a small patrol left the base en route to Likasi. The Land Rover detonated a mine laid by the OAU forces the previous evening, killing all 4 occupants. Hearing the blast, the base commander ordered an Alouette III light helicopter to investigate. When it neared the blast site, OAU troops started firing on the helicopter, leading to the attack being reported to the base. The garrison was put on high alert, and five platoons were ordered into the treeline surrounding the base to provide early warning of any assaults. Artillery was also trained on the area immediately surrounding the Land Rover, leading to a ten-minute shelling. The Katanga rebel government was informed of the attack, but denied that it had let any OAU forces through its front lines.

The Federal Air Force based in Kitwe, Zambezia, dispatched two Hawker Hunters from its reserve wing to provide light air support. At this stage, neither the SAFAF or the forces at Luambo appreciated the fact that more than ten thousand OAU troops were stationed around the base. It was only later when the Hunters made low-level flybys that they radioed the extent of the siege in. Several tank regiments were approaching from the north, but the force apparently lacked helicopter support.

On the evening of 14 May, the Federal Air Force staged a surprise bombing run on the bulk of the OAU force, which was fortified north of Pande. The aging reserve wing of 30 Canberra bombers were outfitted with cluster bombs and ordered to concentrate on the center of the camp, where the bulk of the OAU tank detachment was parked. After half an hour of bombing runs most of the attacking force's armor had been destroyed, leading to the forces stationed at Luambo base to attack to confused OAU forces. The bombing itself had killed the most senior commanders as well as some 800 men. Despite still having the numerical advantage, the OAU forces had not been trained to fight at night. This, combined with the confusion of their camp being on fire, led to panic, resulting in thousands fleeing north. The encampments to the southwest and northeast could hear the fighting but were themselves not attacked. The following morning they found themselves surrounded by a makeshift force consisting of Zambezian National Police, Katangan rebels, and SAFAF troops.

The battle proved extremely humiliating for the OAU, which has not staged any overt military action against the Federation since May 1992. There is a consensus of academic opinion that, as of 2019, the Federation is not only capable of resisting any unified African attack on its territory, but it is theoretically possible for the Federation to successfully invade and occupy its neighboring states for at least a year. Were the Federation to loosen its strict military size regulations, it has been argued that it could invade and occupy all of Sub-Saharan Africa without any substantive military resistance. South African leaders have, however, indicated that territorial expansion is not desired, and the Salisbury Treaty expressly forbids it.

Teenhuisen leaves office


Given South Africa's Federal structure, each constituent nation is entitled to pursue its own economic policy. As of 2016, all of the FSA's nations, broadly, have market economies with varying degrees of regulation. The Federal government is only involved in those affairs which the Salisbury Treaty directly or implicitly entitles it to regulate.

The Federal government's tax revenue is dependent upon the amount donated to it by the constituent nations, which is considered a significant vertical check and balance exercised by the component parts of the Federation. The only exception to this is when the Federation is at war. The Federal government may then compel the nations to provide it with a certain amount of money, or, for the duration of the war, the Federal government may levy taxes itself. The Frontline War, however, which has been ongoing practically since the Federation's founding, has not led to this state of affairs; but it is in light of the fact that it might, that the constituent nations are generous in their donations to the Federal government.

Johannesburg is the largest city as well as the economic hub of the Federation, and is located in the Republic of the Transvaal.

Among South Africa's major exports are copper, platinum, diamonds, gold, uranium, iron, coal, and tobacco. South Africa is also a major food producer. As of the mid-1990s, South Africa has been the largest exporter of electricity in Africa, supplying neighboring states considered to be friendly to the Federation with cheap energy.

Government and politics

The Federation of South Africa is a semi-presidential republic. The largely-ceremonial head of state is the President, who is popularly elected every ten years, starting in 1965. The executive head of government is the Prime Minister, who is chosen by a parliamentary majority once every five years, also starting in 1965. The Federal Parliament, from where the Prime Minister is elected, is the sovereign legislature of South Africa, and consists of an upper house Senate, and a lower house Federal Assembly. The Federal judicial branch has two courts (of equal standing): the High Court of Justice and the Federal Court of Appeals.

According to the Salisbury Treaty, the President and Prime Minister cannot be from the same constituent nation. Furthermore, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister are also not allowed to be from the same constituent nation, but moreover, are not allowed to be from the same racial group. The Treaty, however, is not clear on how this arrangement is to be realized, and leaves the question open to Parliament. The Federal Electoral Act was therefore enacted in 1965 to remedy the situation. The Act provides that the (non-political) President is always to be elected before the Prime Minister, which will determine which candidates for PM are to be excluded from the parliamentary vote. Political parties are also required to ensure that their prime ministerial and deputy prime ministerial candidates are not racially or nationally homogeneous, which has proven problematic for Federal parties which exist merely to represent a specific nation.

The representatives of each constituent nation in the Federal Assembly must be composed entirely of that nation's dominant racial group. Each of the eleven constituent nations are represented equally, with each electing 20 Members of Parliament. The Independent Electoral Board is responsible for electoral district demarcation, but due to the unequal racial nature of each nation, some MPs represent a disproportionately small or disproportionately large amount of citizens. The Senate, on the other hand, is constituted on a non-racial basis, but carries less voting power than that of the Federal Assembly.

There are 7 political parties which contest general elections on the Federal level:

Constitutional Alliance (Government)

  • Federal Conservative Party: The FCP is a member of and the dominant partner in the Constitutional Alliance coalition. It is regarded as representing the moderate center of the Federation, believing in gradual changes and the current federal structure. The FCP holds 65 seats in the Federal Assembly.
  • United Federal Party: The UFP is a big tent center-right party in the Constitutional Alliance coalition, and has formed the government of the Federation for most of its existence. The UFP holds 58 seats in the Federal Assembly.

Progressive Front (Official Opposition)

  • Federal Labour Party: The FLP is a member of and the dominant partner in the Progressive Front coalition. It broadly represents the center-left on the Federal level. The FLP holds 49 seats in the Federal Assembly.
  • Pan-African Alliance: The PAA is a radical black nationalist party in the Progressive Front coalition which believes the federal structure must be abolished and black majority rule guaranteed across the Federation. The PAA holds 11 seats in the Federal Assembly.
  • Democratic Centrist Union: The DCU is a member of the Progressive Front coalition. While it has abandoned its Leninist roots, the DCU still advocates that the Federation move away from its current strict federal structure toward a more unitary social democratic state. The DCU holds 7 seats in the Federal Assembly.


  • Liberal Party: The LP is an independent limited government pro-free market party that most often votes with the Constitutional Alliance. The LP holds 21 seats in the Federal Assembly.
  • Non-Racial Party: The NRP is an independent single-issue party which believes in eliminating the racial structure of the Federation. The NRP holds 9 seats in the Federal Assembly.

Other parties, which contest elections in single or several constituent nations, include:

  • Boer Front (Orange River and the Transvaal): The BF, known locally as the Boerefront, is the ruling party of both the Transvaal and the Orange River, although its two branches operate relatively independently of one another. It is a traditionalist Afrikaner party focusing mainly on the preservation of Afrikaner culture and values. A central policy of the BF is for the Transvaal and Orange River to form one sovereign unitary state and secede from the Federation. For this reason, the Front does not participate in official Federal politics and is not affiliated with any Federal party.
  • United Afrikaner Party (Orange River and the Transvaal): The UAP, known locally as the Verenigde Afrikanerparty is the official opposition in both the Transvaal and the Orange River. It is associated federally with the United Federal Party.
  • Cape Independence Party (the Cape): The CIP is a small secessionist political party which believes in the independence of the Cape Republic and non-racial governance.
  • Cape Afrikaner Party (the Cape): The CAP, known locally as the Kaapse Afrikanerparty, claims to represent the Afrikaner population of the Cape, and is considered to be the most conservative party in the Cape Parliament.
  • Workers' Party (the Cape): The Workers' Party in the Cape is the local affiliate of the Federal Labour Party.
  • Rhodesian Front (Rhodesia): The Rhodesian Front is a far-right, generally white supremacist, party in Rhodesia.
  • United Rhodesian Party (Rhodesia): The URP is the Rhodesian branch of the United Federal Party, and one of the oldest continuously-existing parties in the Federation. It currently governs Rhodesia.
  • United Zambezian Party (Zambezia): Formerly part of the United Rhodesian Party, the UZP was formed when the Federation was established, and has ruled Zambezia on an uninterrupted basis. Despite its name, it is not affiliated with the United Federal Party.
  • Labour Party (the Cape and Rhodesia)
  • Labour Party of Rhodesia (Rhodesia)
  • People's Party (Swaziland)
  • Freedom Party (Lesotho)
  • Zulu African Congress (Zululand, Swaziland, and Lesotho): The ZAC is the governing party of Zululand, Swaziland, and Lesotho. Up to 1999, the party was heavily centralized and governed the three nations -- which border one another -- essentially as one. This led to intense criticism from the Federal government and other political parties, resulting in the High Court of Justice case of Federal Government v. Zulu African Congress et al. The Court unanimously found that governing the constituent nations as one amounted to a fraus legis (fraud of law) being perpetrated on the Salisbury Treaty, which intended substantive federalism. As a result, the ZAC was ordered to become a federal structure. The party established three autonomous branches which, officially, operate independently. It is the local affiliate of the Pan-African Alliance.
  • Total Independence Front (Zululand): The TIF is a small secessionist Zulu supremacist political party that seeks independence from the Federation for Zululand. It consists of two factions: a radical Marxist wing that seeks to establish a worker's republic, and a conservative monarchist wing that seeks to protect the existing monarchy.

Executive government


List of Presidents of the Federation:

  • 1. Winston Field MBE ("Interim Head of State") (United Federal), 1963-1965
  • 2. Sir Archibald Monroe (Labour), 1965-1975
  • 3. Gen. Antonius Teenhuisen (independent/Conservative), 1975-1995
  • 4. Ian Smith (Conservative), 1995-2005
  • 5. Tumelo Changadzo (United Federal), 2005-2015
  • 6. Graham Hughes (United Federal), 2015-present

Prime Minister

List of Prime Ministers of the Federation:

  • 1. Hendrik Verwoerd & Ian Smith ("Officers Administering the Government") (United Federal), 1963-1965
  • 2. Sir Edward Marmalack (Labour), 1965-1967, no confidence
  • 3. Heinrich Oberholzer (United Federal), 1967-1977
  • 4. Ian Smith (Conservative), 1977-1987
  • 5. Maj.Gen. Daniel Houtman (Conservative), 1987-1992
  • 6. Francis Murdoch (Conservative), 1992-1997
  • 7. Siyanda Mbuso (United Federal), 1997-2007
  • 8. William Grove (United Federal), 2007-2012
  • 9. Sean Hunter (United Federal), 2012-present


Federal Transportation Agency

The Federal Transportation Agency (FTA) is responsible for managing and regulating the FSA's Federal transportation networks.

While the Salisbury Treaty strongly implies that transportation is an affair to be left to the constituent nations, there are provisions which state that the Federal government may intervene in disputes between the nations relating to the movement of people and goods across national borders. In particular, the Treaty states that constituent nations are prohibited from allowing essential goods and services to pass national borders, such as food or oil.

It is within this context that the FTA was established in 1987. It federalized various highways and railroads, as well as built new ones, which are outside of the jurisdiction of the constituent nations. This allows, for instance, goods or people from Nyasaland to pass through Zambezia, Rhodesia, and the Transvaal, without being accosted or taxed by the national authorities. The FTA and Federal government draws its share of criticism for the agency, as many consider it an encroachment on South African federalism.

Federal Intelligence Secretariat

The Federal Intelligence Secretariat (FIS) is the overarching federal intelligence agency of the FSA. It was established in 1971 when the former Central African Federation's Federal Intelligence and Security Bureau (FISB) and the Republic of South Africa's Republican Intelligence (RI) merged. The FIS forms the core of the Federal intelligence community, and reports directly to the Prime Minister. All other Federal intelligence agencies therefore work through the FIS, including the Armed Forces Intelligence Service (AFIS) and Federal Criminal Intelligence Service (FCIS). The Secretary of Federal Intelligence sits on the Joint Forces Operations Committee.

Federal Parliament

The Federal Parliament is the sovereign legislature of South Africa, meaning that with a simple majority it may pass, repeal, or amend any law. The notable exception is the constitutive statute of the Federation, the Salisbury Treaty, which covers a narrow range of issues which may not be changed by Parliament without certain majorities and procedures being followed.

Parliament consists of two houses, both located in the capital Unity, namely the upper house Senate, and the lower house Federal Assembly.


The Senate is constituted on a non-racial basis, and has no upper size limit. Former presidents and prime ministers, as well as former leaders of the constituent nations, are automatically granted a seat in the Senate. The current President, on advice of the Prime Minister, may also grant seats in the Senate to individuals meeting certain criteria set down in the Federal Electoral Act. Current leaders of the constituent nations are also entitled to nominate senators and make such submissions to the President. An independent Commission on Senatorial Appointments, a private civil society group with statutory recognition, routinely makes submissions to the presidency on which individuals of high regard in South African society should be made senators. This power of the President garners a lot of controversy, especially when new senatorial appointments are made.

One crucial internal check and balance within the Senate is that as the Senate is enlarged, the power of individual votes are diluted. The Senate can also by a two-thirds majority block the appointment of a new senator. Senators are not salaried, meaning that an enlargement of the upper house - while there are extra logistical costs as a matter of course - does not necessarily make it more expensive, which is one characteristic of the Senate which classical liberals and proponents of a free market economy and limited government consider reassuring.

Federal Assembly

Following on the Westminster tradition of parliamentary governance, the lower house Federal Assembly is the more powerful house of the Federal Parliament.

Each constituent nation of the Federation is divided into 20 parliamentary districts, each of which elects an assemblyman to send to the Federal Assembly. This means that the Assembly consists of 220 assemblymen. Given its nature, the Assembly is constituted along racial lines, with the Salisbury Treaty expressly stating that each of the 20 assemblymen of each constituent nation must be of that nation's designated racial group. The capital Unity, due to its non-racial character, is not entitled to representation in the Federal Assembly.


The Federal judiciary is small as compared to that of other large federations. It consists of two courts, both based in Unity, namely the High Court of Justice and the Federal Court of Appeals. The High Court deals with state matters, such as the validity of laws (measured against the Salisbury Treaty), and treason and high-level corruption cases. It consists of a President of the Court and four justices. The Court of Appeals is the final court of appeal in the FSA for all other matters, and consists of a Chief Judge and eight judges. The judiciary is administered by the Judicial Administration Authority, which broadly falls under the Federal Department of Justice, Law and Order.

The Salisbury Treaty provides explicitly that the judiciary is not to be composed on a racial basis, with the exception that at any given time the two courts cannot be dominated by the same race. Thus, the entire High Court can be white, and the entire Appeal Court can be black, or a significant portion of the High Court can be black, and the entire Appeal Court can be white. However, for example, if a significant portion of the High Court is white, then a significant portion of the Appeal Court must be black. This odd provision was inserted to ensure that the judiciary does not become a political tool in the hands of either of the dominant racial groups to upset the Federal order.

Administrative divisions

Republic of Bechuanaland

The British Protectorate of Bechuanaland - known by independence movements as 'Botswana' - was surrounded on all sides by the territories which would become the FSA. It was based on this reason that it was included in the Salisbury Treaty negotiations, despite not sharing many of the same problems and contexts as the Republic of South Africa and the Central African Federation.

Today, the Republic of Bechauanaland is regarded as the most 'liberal' of the black nations. Its upper house, the Consultative Assembly, is made up of all the minority racial groups (but is carefully composed as to not overrule to lower National Assembly), meaning it is the only one of the Federation's constituent nations to provide parliamentary representation to groups other than the dominant race.

The government of Bechauanaland is based in Gaborone and composes the legislative Parliament (which has a lower National Assembly and an upper Consultative Assembly), the executive President (currently Robert Skelemani), and the judiciary.

Cape Republic

Kingdom of Lesotho

Republic of Luderitzia

Republic of Nyasaland

Orange River Republic

Republic of Rhodesia

Kingdom of Swaziland

Republic of the Transvaal

Republic of Zambezia

Kingdom of Zululand


The South African Federal Armed Forces (SAFAF) is comprised of the Federal South African Army (FSAA), the Federal South African Air Force (FSAAF), the Federal South African Navy (FSAN), and the Armed Forces Intelligence Service (AFIS). The SAFAF is led by the Chief of Defense Staff, who chairs the Armed Forces Council. The chief of each service sits on the Council along with their deputies. A Joint Forces Operations Committee (JFOC) exists for coordination between the Armed Forces and the several other paramilitary organizations throughout the Federation; which includes police forces and civilian militias. The Armed Forces Council representative on the Committee usually acts as its chairman. The JFOC is considered to be the pinnacle of the military-security cluster, and, as such, carries supreme command second only to the commander-in-chief.

Given South Africa's unique Federal composition, the Federal Armed Forces is also uniquely structured. No national group may dominate any formation within the Armed Forces, meaning that recruits from particular constituent nations must be spread across the military. This is particularly difficult given the odd population composition of the constituents, for example, with the 'black nations' each having at least a million citizens, and the smallest white nation - the Republic of Luderitzia - having only around 60,000. This has led to the Armed Forces being much smaller than it theoretically could be for a country of the FSA's size.

What the SAFAF lacks in size, however, it compensates for in equipment and training. South Africa has by far the largest and most advanced armaments and defense industry in Africa and the Middle East, and given that it has been at war more or less continuously for more than 40 years, it has some of the most experienced military training officers in the world.

The Army is the largest service branch, with around 200,000 active soldiers. The Navy has fifteen capital ships, including one aircraft carrier, and hundreds of smaller craft. The Air Force consists of a wide variety of aircraft, a large portion of which have been locally produced.


The Army is the largest component of the Federal Armed Forces. It is led by the Chief of the Army, currently Lieutenant General Hastings Moilwa.

The Defense Component of the Army, which divides South Africa into defense theaters, is similar to other nations' territorial guard units. Currently the borders of the Federation with its neighbors are the most active theaters, which are staffed by Army Regulars (career soldiers). The further one moves away from the borders, the larger and more inactive the defense theaters become. The District of the Western Cape, for example, has less than 100 Army Regulars. Army Irregulars (mostly reserves and part-time soldiers) form the bulk of these theaters.

The Army further consists of several Regular units (ten numbered brigades), including two semi-independent special units; the Special Ranger Brigade (SRB) and the Army Airborne Regiment (AAR). Each Regular unit, theoretically (albeit not always in practice), is accompanied by a reconnaissance company, and a tank or artillery regiment. The SRB is the South African military's counter-terrorism unit and specializes in isolated bush warfare. The AAR takes its orders directly from the President in his capacity as the commander-in-chief, and is used mainly as a conventional special forces unit. The ARR is led by an American-Rhodesian veteran of the Frontier War, Brigadier General John Alan Coey. Coey is also the chairman of the influential American-South African Veterans Association.

South Africa has no 'special forces' unit in name. The reconnaissance (locally known as a recce) company of each numbered brigade, the Special Ranger Brigade, and the Army Airborne Regiment, however, do bear the name of special forces informally.

Air Force

The Federal South African Air Force is the most advanced air force in Africa, comparable only with that of Algeria. It is led by the Chief of the Air Force, currently Major General Bruce Mydis.

The South African and Israeli Air Forces have a long-standing partnership agreement which only came to light in the late 1990s when the international community acquiesced itself to the South African political setup. Israel provided the bulk of the FSAAF's fighter capacity.

The Air Force operates 50 IAI Kfir C-15A "Bushman" as its multi-role fighter component. These wholly replaced the ageing fleet of Mirage III and F1s in 1994. Most were imported from Israel, however, the South African defense contractor Air Defense Industries (ADI) did acquire rights to produce the fighter locally under license in 2011. In early 2016 the Air Force acquired 39 IAI "Daggers" from the Argentinian Air Force. The ADI has since started upgrading these to C-15B and C-15C (two-seater) Bushmen. This will bring the FSA's front-line fighter capacity to 89.

An additional 120 planes and 250 helicopters with various roles are operated by the Air Force.


Foreign policy

When the Federation was formed, the United Kingdom lost three territories: Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland. The protectorates of Swaziland, Lesotho, and Bechuanaland also divorced themselves from Britain. This led to immediate condemnation and a rejection of the former three territories' independence. The Republic of South Africa was at this stage already an international pariah for its policy of Apartheid. Its continued occupation of South West Africa (Luderitzia), was also not recognized by the international community. With these two blocs of territories merging into one, the international community almost unanimously refused to recognize the new Federation. Sanctions under the banner of the United Nations were passed within a year of the Salisbury Treaty's signage, cutting off much of South Africa's imports and exports.

This situation has been largely mitigated by three factors, namely the passage of time, the fact that the economic sanctions had virtually no effect on the FSA due to it being resource-rich, and the world's desire to trade with the gold-, diamond-, and copper-rich Federation. Most of the sanctions have been abandoned and the major contenders on the international stage have all come to recognize the Federation - with the notable exception of Great Britain, which is refusing to do so on principle, but engages with the Federation on matters of trade regardless. This, however, does not bode true for the African continent and especially the Federation's neighbors.

As of 2016 the South African Federal government continues to provide materiel and financial support to rebel movements in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mozambique. In Angola, the South African military still actively supports the UNITA rebel movement which controls large swaths of the country's south. In the Congo, the Federation is the only country to recognize the independence of the Katanga Province (the 'State of Katanga'), which lies immediately to the FSA's north. The Federation has publicly 'guaranteed' the independence of Katanga, should the DRC attempt to reestablish control. In Mozambique, South Africa continues to provide support to RENAMO (a rebel movement which is alleged to have been created by the Federal Intelligence Secretariat in the 1970s), which controls much of the territory that hugs Mozambique's border with the FSA. Tanzania is the only country bordering the Federation where the FSA is not involved in some way or another militarily. This is based on an understanding which dates back to the presidency of Julius Nyerere, who knew it would be hopeless to openly defy the Federation. The border between Tanzania and the Federation is, however, closed, and highly fortified.

The Organization of African Unity does not recognize the Federation as a legitimate state, and lends its support to the various liberation movements throughout the FSA. Since the 1990s, however, the OAU has not engaged in combat against South Africa after its crushing defeat at the Battle of Luambo.