South Africa’s capability, both material and ideational, to assume the role of a hegemonic power in Africa in the democratic era was deficient during the presidencies of Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma. In the Mandela era (1994–99) South Africa adopted a diffident, generally low-key role in terms of force projection in the region and sub-region (the atypical 1998 Lesotho intervention notwithstanding), perhaps unsurprisingly in the aftermath of an era of apartheid aggression in Southern Africa. An attempt was made, however, to promote its values of democracy, human rights and conflict resolution as wider African values, behaviour more typical of a hegemon. This effort foundered with failures in Angola (1994), Nigeria (1995) and Zaire/DRC (1997/8), after which Pretoria’s championing of those values became more hesitant, tentative and sporadic. The main successes of South African diplomacy in the Mandela period came via its adoption of an energetic middle-power role in building bridges between North and South, for example with the South African-sponsored compromise at the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) review conference in 1995 which allowed that treaty to be indefinitely extended, 128and in brokering the 1999 deal to end the Lockerbie crisis between the US and the UK on one hand and Gadhafi’s Libya on the other. Pretoria was carving out a role for itself in the international arena as a problem-solver, mediator and all-round good international citizen.