In recent days, Lesotho and Rwanda, both tiny African countries located in Southern Africa and East Africa respectively, have generated heated debates in South Africa.
At the centre of these debates is none other than South Africa’s own Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni - a very influential member of the Cabinet with strong views on a wide range of issues beyond his portfolio.
Apart from managing the national finances as assigned by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Mboweni has endlessly generated intriguing news headlines in areas such as tinned fish recipes, the type of shoes he wears, performance in the bedroom. In short, he has indeed demonstrated the boldness to “tread where angels fear”.
For different reasons, Lesotho and Rwanda are perhaps the minister’s favourite topics. A question might arise as to whether the minister’s expressed views on these countries undermine his fellow Cabinet ministers in charge of matters concerning external affairs? The other question that requires answers is whether the minister is failing to separate personal experiences and feelings from matters of the state.
When it comes to matters concerning Lesotho and Rwanda as expressed by the minister, one is afraid to state categorically that he fails dismally to reconcile his personal experiences and feelings from national and continental agendas. On Lesotho the minister’s view expressed recently is shy of openly calling for the unification of Lesotho into South Africa or the southern Africa region.