It speaks volumes about President Donald Trump’s regard for SA that he has picked a handbag designer with zero diplomatic experience to replace the respected Patrick Gaspard as ambassador to Pretoria.The choice is, of course, in keeping with the tone of his reality TV presidency, which has never threatened to drift into substantive policymaking. Instead, Trump prioritises his own political survival above all else, no matter what conspiracies have to be indulged to do so.In fact, the overriding qualification of Lana Marks, Trump’s "nominee", seems to be that she is a member of Trump’s exclusive $200,000-a-year Mar-a-Lago club. The closest that Marks comes to any affiliation with SA is that she was born in East London, and then studied at Wits University, though she has been living in the US since 1987.Marks isn’t the first palpably ill-equipped person picked as a Trump diplomat, evoking comparisons with Silvio Berlusconi’s Italian cabinet made up of pin-up girls and models.But is Mar...

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