Analysis – the World According to Dirco [analysis]

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane’s speech in Pretoria on Tuesday was billed as a kind of State of the Nation for South African foreign policy – a chance for the foreign minister to defend her decisions of the past five years and lay out her vision for the future.

In the end, it was actually a missed opportunity, with the minister choosing to focus on process and procedure rather than concrete achievements (good or bad). And please, nobody mention Rwanda.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has always looked very comfortable as foreign minister, a position she has occupied since 2009 (and looks likely to occupy again, although she refused to be drawn on the subject). Sharp, eloquent and assured, she has no trouble schmoozing visiting politicians or staring down pesky journalists – both essential requirements for the job. She is also a natural diplomat, and over the last five years has mastered the art of saying plenty without actually saying anything at all.

It was this skill that was most evident on Tuesday afternoon in Pretoria, where she delivered her foreign policy follow up to Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address. In a tightly-scripted speech, she laid out the principles that govern…

Source : Daily Maverick