Writ­ing the script for SA 2027

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By SUE MA­CLEN­NAN

Me­lanie Ver­wo­erd was the fea­tured speaker at a busi­ness break­fast this week at Kingswood Col­lege’s Wyvern Club, hosted jointly by the Rhodes Busi­ness School and Makana Brick. Ver­wo­erd is a for­mer ANC MP and SA Am­bas­sador to Ire­land.

Ver­wo­erd, who lives in Cape Town and works as a con­sul­tant to NGOs and po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst, was di­vorced from Wil­helm Ver­wo­erd in 2005 and they have two chil­dren. Wil­helm is the great­grand­son of the ar­chi­tect of apartheid. She started her talk to a re­cep­tive break­fast au­di­ence of around 80 peo­ple by fo­cus­ing on her sur­name. She de­scribed in­tro­duc­ing her­self to some­one at an event, start­ing with the dis­claimer that her sur­name was very awk­ward, as­so­ci­ated as it was with an in­fa­mous South African states­man. “Zuma?” the per­son had asked her.

Ver­wo­erd pro­ceeded to iden­tify to­day’s po­lit­i­cal cur­rents and share some of her pre­dic­tions for South Africa’s fu­ture. Us­ing movie ti­tles and putting the can­di­dates in key roles (Ja­cob and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma fea­tured in a ‘poster’ for the Ti­tanic; the same two fea­tured in War of the Roses; while Ramaphosa, Sisulu and other fea­tured in The Em­pire Strikes Back, she ran through lead­er­ship op­tions.

Her anal­y­sis held up Cyril Ramaphosa as the best po­lit­i­cal prospect for South Africa as a re­place­ment for Zuma; how­ever, she doubted Ramaphosa’s com­mit­ment to the lead­er­ship race.

In ad­di­tion, self in­ter­est among Cab­i­net mem­bers, she sug­gested, would also hin­der their abil­ity to make good lead­er­ship choices.

What hap­pened within the ANC in the lead-up to the De­cem­ber elec­tive con­fer­ence (and ob­vi­ously those out­comes) would pro­foundly af­fect South Africa for the next 10-15 years, she said. Amid the po­lit­i­cal “noise” and un­set­tled cli­mate, how­ever, she was con­vinced South Africans had the ca­pac­ity to pull through.

Her sur­name was very awk­ward, as­so­ci­ated as it was with an in­fa­mous South African states­man.

Photo: Sue Ma­clen­nan

For­mer col­leagues in Par­lia­ment Me­lanie Ver­wo­erd and Luzuko Ja­cobs meet up at a busi­ness break­fast this week in Gra­ham­stown. Ver­wo­erd is a for­mer ANC MP and SA Am­bas­sador to Ire­land. Ja­cobs is the for­mer spokesper­son of Par­lia­ment and now Di­rec­tor of Com­mu­ni­ca­tion and Ad­vance­ment at Rhodes Univer­sity. The event at Kingswood Col­lege’s Wyvern Club was hosted jointly by the Rhodes Busi­ness School and Makana Brick.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.