News out of Washington that a bipartisan collection of congressmen is lobbying not only to hoof SA out of the African Growth and Opportunity Act programme, but also to stop us from chairing this year’s meeting of the Agoa Forum, makes for grave reading. It is not clear that everybody in Pretoria who ought to understand the gravity of what is at play does so.

It is in this context that we ought to wish President Cyril Ramaphosa good luck and Godspeed on his planned trip to Moscow and Kyiv. His purpose is twofold: to persuade President Vladimir Putin to stay away from SA during the Brics summit and to tell him that his insistence on the matter is causing harm to us, and, when in Kyiv, his task beyond the photo opportunity, is to persuade President Volodymyr Zelensky that our nonalignment is real...

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