International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has once again stunned the world as she publicly claimed to know nothing about Britain’s referendum to exit the European Union (Brexit).
Nkoana-Mahabane was on Monday in Pretoria questioned by journalist on whether Bexit would affect South Africa’s Trade relations with France.
The Minister replied and said: “Brexit? We don’t know about it, we saw it on television. We hear that it will impact, when it started, negatively to our trade and investment relations with the countries from that part, but we haven’t seen real evidence,” Nkoana-Mashabane told journalists.
“Maybe it is still coming. But one thing first, we are not members there [at the EU], and we can only say is viva democracy,” she added.
The Minister’s latest utterances have thrown her credibility as South Africa’s chief diplomat into serious question, as President Jacob Zuma is set to go on a state visit to France next week.
Earlier this year the Nkoana-Mashane messed up an interview which was done at the global news network’s studios in Doha, Qatar, By South African-born journalist Jane Dutton.
During the Al JAzeera’s interview on international current affairs, the Minister responded to questions incoherently and void of any grasp of the domestic and international matters within her purview as a Minister.
She later then said she was acting in “defence” of the country when she shot down questions during the interview.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) said if South Africa is to weather the storm brought on by Brexit, the country needs a Minister of International Relations that is fit to navigate the complexities of the potentially challenging renegotiations of our trade agreements.
“Nkoana-Mashabane’s ignorance notwithstanding, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation’s apex priority is to act on South Africa’s behalf and diligently engage with, and respond to, world events in the interests of South Africans,” said the DA
The Party then called on the President to exercise his power and reconsider Nkoana-Mashaba’s fitness to be the country’s national diplomat-in-chief.