Sunday, October 25, 2009

Minister sidesteps Foreign Policy and cooperates with ANC

Blog Writing Assignment 3: Opinion
By: Nicole Twaddle

A lecture packed to the brim is not something that is typically seen on the Rhodes university campus, however on October, 20th, Barratt lecture theatre 1 was filled to the point that students and relevant media were forced to take positions on the floor and steps. The great turn out was for none other than Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to give her speech on South Africa’s foreign policy; the commitment and changes.

The speech started off well, diving right into the history of the department; however the Minister soon became distracted by the struggles of the ANC post and pre Apartheid. This then brewed into a plea for more people to become involved in government, something all government officials are doing now days. I felt disappointed in the speech. I had looked forward to attending the lecture to attaining some perspective from the “professionals” about South Africa’s foreign policy, and how it is being improved upon, instead she launched into a pro-ANC campaign. In amidst her ANC praising speech, she did however, work in a few phrases about South Africa becoming a united country, willing to build relationships with other countries, to become a united world.

In effect the minister did a good rendition of representing the ANC and avoiding what the ANC has in store for its foreign policy. As a spectator I was rather disappointed, and truly expected more information about the changes to the foreign policy. The Minister’s speech writers definitely did a good job of making her appear knowledgeable about what is going on in South Africa’s international relations, however at the same time avoiding the topic altogether. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you yet another typical South African leader.