Peter Bruce Columnist

I was taken aback on Wednesday when the presidency posted pictures of Cyril Ramaphosa arriving for a Russia-Africa summit in Sochi, Russia. The first thing he did as he stepped off the plane was expose himself to possible poisoning by Russian President Vladimir Putin. He was offered a loaf of the local bread and picked a piece off and ate it, for crying out loud.

Vlad the Impaler is not beyond a little rough stuff, as we know, and Ramaphosa ruined a nice play Putin had been making in SA by getting Jacob “AtomikaRuski” Zuma out of office a little before his time. Not only that, but the Russians sent two Tupolev Tu-160 bombers (look them up, they’re the biggest bombers ever to be capable of reaching speeds beyond twice the speed of sound and with a range of more than 12,000km) to Waterkloof outside Pretoria on Wednesday. The bread was probably more dangerous.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now