Zindzi and Zenani Mandela. Picture: ALON SKUY
Zindzi and Zenani Mandela. Picture: ALON SKUY

I write in response to Charles Cadman’s letter and to ask him to consider that ambassador Zindzi Mandela might have done the country and its observers a great favour (“Zindzi should be fired”, June 19).

Through her crass racism and enthusiasm for ruinous policies she has better articulated the positions of the SA government than any of her diplomatic peers. While the bulk of our ambassadors talk about new dawns, long games and structural reforms, the government they represent and party that leads it are working furiously at policies that will undermine property rights, reduce economic competitiveness, threaten the rule of law and escalate racial tensions.

What in practice is the difference between accusing whites of original sin to justify the passing of laws to confiscate their assets, and the sentiment expressed by Mandela? If anything, official concern at her comments will relate to them exposing just how vacuous the vast and successful effort at new dawn messaging has been.

Business Day’s editorial on the same page (“Signal of action needed now”, June 19) implores President Cyril Ramaphosa to signal clearly what the policy intentions of his government are and that it will move with haste to implement these. We would argue that under his leadership the government has done this quite successfully, which is why you are correct to state that “sentiment has turned”.

However, that such sentiment is turning simply reveals the extent to which many observers were taken in by new dawn messaging in the first place, and the slick investment and other roadshows that sold the idea so effectively. If Mandela could be convinced to headline future government roadshows, SA’s observers might find themselves less exposed to unanticipated outcomes.        

Frans Cronje
CEO, Institute of Race Relations