President Cyril Ramaphosa is in many respects a clever man. Anyone who can become a billionaire by parleying his connections with the ANC into being given millions in shares is not to be under estimated. Of course, he is a very poor administrator, leader and governor. He would have done better by staying in the counting house, like old King Cole, counting out his money. His cabinet is a mediocre one, containing too many underperformers and third-raters).
One of the cabinet exceptions is Dr Naledi Pandor, the minister of International Relations and Co-operation. (As an aside, why does she not motivate for a change from that gobbledegook to plain old “Foreign Affairs”?). Pandor is highly intelligent (as one would expect of the daughter of the late Joe Matthews of the IFP and the granddaughter of ZK Matthews, an early leader of the ANC). She is superbly educated.
She was Grace Matthews until she met and married Sharif Pandor and converted to Islam. It is the latter fact that makes her totally unsuitable to advise the president on his Foreign Policy exploits. She, to be fair like most ANCs, has a biased view of the world and seems to be in love with every dictator and every undemocratic country in the world. Given that background, of course she dislikes the Israelis and is in love with Hamas.
President Ramaphosa has grand visions of his potential power and influence in the world. He would love to be the mediator, bringing peace to the world. President PW Botha memorably commented about one of my friends in Parliament, who shall remain nameless, “He wants to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.”
Ramaphosa will not become that, because he, his party and Minister Pandor seem always to take the wrong decision about acting in South Africa’s interests. The criminal attack by Russia on Ukraine was a prime example. South Africa declared early in the conflict that it would like to help and mediate. It then backed Russia in their breach of International Law. Who would now regard our president as a suitable, even-handed mediator?