by AKANI CHAUKE / TINTSWALO BALOYI & NJABULO MKHILE
South Africa Bureau
PRETORIA, (CAJ News) – THE unapologetic stance by South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, to the United States to desist from bullying Africa over the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war was a “Give that man a bells” moment.
The message was made clear to the visiting US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who has been touring Sub-Saharan Africa.
South Africa reminded America that as much as their energy, verve and eyes were fixed on the Russo-Ukraine conflict, Africa equally wanted to see the long overdue Israeli-Palestine conflict end.
Depending on which side of the context one sits on, on giving someone a Bell’s/bell, Pandor deserves the plaudits.
In the United Kingdom, giving someone a Bell’s is offering a person the popular UK Scotch whisky called Bell’s, with a focus on the malt Blair Athol in Pitlochry, probably for cheering them up for a job well done.
In another meaning, when people say, “give someone a bell”, they refer to telephoning that particular person, probably congratulating him or her for the stance taken.
In this case, it is Pandor, for eloquently speaking on behalf of the entire African continent.
She was loud and clear that South Africa had complete different views from the US on to geopolitical issues around Ukraine, China and the Israel- Palestine conflict.
During his remarks, Blinken sharply criticised China for its strong reaction to House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, a move widely viewed by Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East as US’ direct interference and provocation of China.
Pandor, whose country is a member of the BRICS (acronym for Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) nations, would not comment on Taiwan, but argued South Africa did not want to be made party to a conflict between China and the US.
“Just as much as the people of Ukraine deserve their territory and freedom, the people of Palestine deserve their territory and freedom,” Pandor told Blinken.
“…and we should be equally concerned at what is happening to the people of Palestine as we are with what is happening to the people of Ukraine. We’ve not seen an even-handed approach,” Pandor said.
Blinken did not see this one coming.
South Africa and the entire continent have given Pandor her Bell’s.
TedMusk, stated, “Naledi Pandor has balls and she told the US Boy (Blinken) that SA can’t be bullied by US and EU bullies by telling SA who to do business with and Choose Between Russia and US. Mbokodo (woman) has more powerful balls than Mfana Ke Mfana (man precisely Ramaphosa), who agrees with anything from Baas (white people).”
Asnake Anteneh said: “Naledi Pandor, South Africa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, criticized western imperialists’ patronizing and bullying behavior. It is a slap on the face for @SecBlinken who sat next to her.”
FlavourTony concurred: “Naledi Pandor is a legend. She embodies what South Africa’s stance should be on the Russian Ukraine conflict + Apartheid Israel + Western attempts to influence Africa.”
Brian Soul took the matter further: “Can we also discuss Sanctions imposed on Zimbabwean government (by the US and West) to be uplifted, this will help Zimbabwe to be self-sufficient and build their economy.”
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Foreign Editor, Sophie Mokoena, shared: “SA Minister of International Relations Dr Naledi Pandor is still trending.”
Fiorella Isabel laughed out: “US Secretary of State Blinken traveled to South Africa to convince them to cut ties with Russia & China but Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor says her country won’t be pushed around & many in Africa have more faith in ties with BRICS countries than the West.”
Tafadzwa Gilbért Káys praised Pandor: “SA Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor rightfully refused to be lectured to about democracy by the US regime. A regime which uses Gestapo tactics @ home & is responsible for instability & wars across the world. A regime with a senile, cognitively impaired leader-Biden.”
Muzi Dlamini summed up the prevailing sentiment.
“Thank you Naledi Pandor for speaking on behalf of all African countries and I think we all agree with you,” he wrote.
Mhofela Mhofu, commented, “You (Blinken) can’t just come in and claim to lecture about democracy (in Africa).”
– CAJ News