This article examines South Africa’s engagement with the rest of the African continent in the realm of peace and security since 1994. It notes that despite expectations from the international community as well as its own policy documents that South Africa would promote human rights on the continent, this has not occurred in a substantial manner. Pretoria has been naı¨ve in its mediation attempts, or worse. Pretoria’s ambiguous position in relation to human rights is not only a product of domestic variables but also its own lack of capacity,
especially on the military front. These domestic constraints are reinforced at a regional level where structures like the African Standby Forces are little more than ‘paper tigers’. This serves to reinforce the status quo, ultimately undermining human security and escalating prospects for future conflict. At the same time the article does point to some positive developments arising from the Zuma administration in its engagement on the African continent in its efforts to secure
human security for Africa’s citizens.