International Relations Minister Nkoana-Mashabane has committed another international faux pas at the ongoing African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Nkoana-Mashabane appeared during an interview with a Nigerian journalist at the summit and gave one of the most bizarre interviews ever seen. The clip was even broadcasted on Nigerian television station TVC News.
It is safe to say that Maite has made a ‘name’ for herself in the media as one of the world’s most blunderous minister.
This time at AU, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane jumped the gun on the election of a new director-general for the World Health Organisation by publicly congratulating him on his “election” to this position.
Ironically, the said director-general for the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom, who doubles as former Ethiopian foreign minister is a candidate vying for the post and has not been elected, as elections are set to take place in May.
BuzzSouthAfrica recalls that in May 2016, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane made a series of jibes at Jane Dutton during a cringeworthy 22-minute interview. Dutton is a South African journalist working with Al Jazeera in Doha.
When Dutton opened by asking about what kinds of messages violence in Parliament sends out, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane responded by saying “there’s so much positivity in your country. I thought you’d remember that.”
And when asked what she made of Julius Malema’s statement that the EFF “will take power by the barrel of the gun”, her response was: “I don’t know because some of us had to raise small babies. Before I’m frightened of Malema I’m frightened to see a woman with a water can on her head in South Africa in 2016.”
The most shocking bit came when the minister completely dismissed a clip of a young South African, speaking about how the ANC is not the same as Mandela’s ANC.
Her response was: “I don’t know if he’s even old enough to vote. I’m a mother of six and a grandmother of a six-month-old. I want to say to this young man, I wish you could be like my children who say South Africa is the only country where 300-350 years of apartheid’s legacy has been demolished in less than 20 years.”
She also narrated how she developed a “hole in the head” from carrying buckets of water when she was young during apartheid.
Minister Nkoana-Mashabane Jumps The Gun
Speaking during an interview with international journalists, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said: “There is a question that you haven’t asked and that I will volunteer to answer you.
As I walked into the room I met with the former foreign minister of Ethiopia, who has just been elected the director-general of the World Health Organisation, so I took advantage of hugging the man who is going high up. Maybe next time we will have to make an appointment, but we are elated. I know that I’m jumping the gun here.”
Her blunder was further compounded by her department’s pictures on Twitter. The picture showed her congratulating Tedros Adhanom, but incorrectly announced him as Dr Workneh Gebeyehu.
Dr Workneh Gebeyehu is the current east African country’s foreign minister.
Relax and watch how the interview went down.
28th AU Summit
African heads, world leaders, diplomats and dignitaries converged at Addis Ababa, Ethiopia over the weekend to elect Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s successor. She took office in 2012 and is not standing for re-election. Dlamini-Zuma, however, has an eye for a top post in the ANC.
Some African leaders in attendance include President of the African Union and Chad, Idriss Deby, Niger’s Mahamadou Issoufou, South Africa’s Jacob Zuma and Mauritania’s Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz.
The theme of the Summit is “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in the Youth”.
Five candidates are competing for the top seat of the 54-member body. The new chairperson will take office on a four-year term.