IT WAS more than refreshing to read remarks by the new South African High Commissioner to London, Obed Mlaba, the former mayor of Durban, in this newspaper on Monday.Mr Mlaba stood up stoutly for his new posting, declaring that South Africa and the UK are "true friends" whereas our relationship with our new biggest trading partner, China, was "just about what they pull out of our ground". By that he means, of course, that most of our business with China consists of the ores our mining companies and our miners dig out of the ground and export to the Chinese so that they may turn them into cheap manufactured goods to be exported, some of it back to us in South Africa.Mr Mlaba showed a strong bias to business when he ran Durban, and it is clear that he will try to bring new energy to the relationship with the UK.It is not a moment too soon. The UK is our oldest trading partner and our ties run deeper there than with any other country on earth. It may not be comforting to many people no...

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