The Citizen (KZN)

ANC panders to Pandor


- Eric Naki –

Experts say she will be a minister who Ramaphosa will keep – but she has no chance as president.

With some members in the ANC jumping the gun in lobbying for the reappointm­ent of Minister of Internatio­nal Relations and Cooperatio­n Naledi Pandor to her current portfolio after the election, experts say that she deserves returning to her portfolio.

But one, political sciences professor at the University of South Africa Dirk Kotzé said Pandor could be doing her work well, but lacked a constituen­cy to back her in the ANC in any endeavour to contest successful­ly for higher office in the ANC, such as the post of deputy president.

Even after being appointed by Ramaphosa as his running mate in the run-up to the 2017 and 2022 party conference­s, she was overtaken by other candidates with constituen­cies for the post, he said.

Those who contested included current Deputy President Paul Mashatile, Minister of Justice and Correction­al Services Ronald Lamola and Eastern Cape premier Oscar Mabuyane.

“She must be doing her work well, but she is not really a popular politician. She is not someone who goes out to the provinces and works within the provinces. She is very preoccupie­d with her job as minister,” said Kotzé.

“As a popular person in the ANC with an establishe­d constituen­cy, she doesn’t have that. That’s one of the reasons I would say she hasn’t been able to stand for any form of election in the ANC.”

Dominic Maphaka, internatio­nal relations and foreign policy analyst from North-West University, said Pandor’s unwavering stance on various internatio­nal issues made her the best choice for the position.

“Pandor has represente­d SA well on the issue of Israel-Palestine. You will recall how the minister lobbied against the intention of the African Union Commission to grant Israel observer status at the African Union.

“With her negation of the Western states and some domestic opposition parties to lean SA’s foreign policy stance to the side of the West over the Russia-Ukraine conflict, for me, the minister went beyond championin­g the country’s foreign policy and became the mouthpiece of our internatio­nal relations,” Maphaka said.

Pandor’s consistent stance on the Palestinia­n issue and standing up to the West on the Russia-Ukraine war put her in good stead among some in the party.

Some would like to see her emulating several previous internatio­nal foreign ministers who served for many years in that position.

Asked why the ANC preferred her for foreign affairs and not for the party and country’s president, Maphaka said Ramaphosa was already chosen as the presidenti­al candidate. Pandor stood no chance. “But she could serve as the best bet if the ANC retains its majority in Ramaphosa’s second term. In that case, her nomination will be determined by the voting patterns and support from the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL).

“In the past, we have witnessed the division of the ANCWL with part of the league supporting the male candidate and going against those lobbying for a female candidate,” he said.

The league did not support Lindiwe Sisulu and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s failed bids to become the first female president of the country.

Dlamini-Zuma recently announced she would retire from parliament after the election but will continue to be an ANC activist, while Sisulu was excluded from the 2024 ANC parliament­ary lists.

Kotzé said the talk of Pandor’s reappointm­ent was surprising since the matter had not come up for discussion and there had not been any suggestion she would be disqualifi­ed for it.

“I think from that point of view, the possibilit­y [of reappointm­ent] certainly exists. I was surprised that she was renominate­d because I was under the impression she was going to retire from politics after this election,” said Kotzé.

 ?? Picture: Getty Images ?? BEST BET. Minister of Internatio­nal Relations and Cooperatio­n Naledi Pandor deserves her current portfolio if the ANC wins at the polls this year.
Picture: Getty Images BEST BET. Minister of Internatio­nal Relations and Cooperatio­n Naledi Pandor deserves her current portfolio if the ANC wins at the polls this year.

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