Sunday Times Politics Weekly
PODCAST | SA’s ‘neutrality rubbed global powers the wrong way'
China must step in, says peace-building and mediation expert amid Russia-Ukraine peace talks
Unisa’s Prof Everisto Benyera counts what South Africa loses for its stance in the Russia-Ukraine war. He, in part, specialises in peace-building and mediation.
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Last week, African leaders led by President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook a mediation mission to Ukraine and Russia in the latest bid to end the war in Ukraine.
That mission received a mixed reaction, with some deriding it as Ramaphosa’s ploy to change negative international perceptions about SA’s nonaligned stance.
Benyera tells our Sunday Times Politics Weekly host, deputy editor Mike Siluma, that the intervention was “historic at many levels” and explains the two ways the peace mission ought to be measured. He weighs in on SA’s “diplomatic gravitas” on the African continent and in the international arena.
Others supported the mission, arguing that Africa needed to do something about a war that was harming it. The question is: was the African mission all worth it? Could it change the course of the war?
Benyera is a professor of African politics in the department of political sciences at Unisa. He also comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s pending visit to SA for the Brics summit in August and proposes a neutral venue for the summit or Putin must join virtually. The conversation is wide-ranging and rich in viewpoints. Benyera says surely SA can’t be expected to “act against its national interest” and arrest Putin as he affirms SA’s position on the dilemma.
Benyera also explains what he refers to as underwriters of the war and tells us that peace in Europe will be good for human security not only in Africa but globally.
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