South Africa Diary: ‘Ex-PM’ Manmohan

At the unveiling of a Gandhi bust at Johannesburg’s historic Constitution Hill,the seat of the Constitutional Supreme Court of South Africa

Published:May 4, 2012 2:40 am

‘Ex-PM’ Manmohan

At the unveiling of a Gandhi bust at Johannesburg’s historic Constitution Hill,the seat of the Constitutional Supreme Court of South Africa,Amanda Nair,a fifth generation Indian-origin South African who is CEO of Constitution Hill,referred to Manmohan Singh as “former Prime Minister”. We were wondering if she knew something that we didn’t as no one corrected her. The entire official delegation,including President Pratibha Patil,was present.

Not welcome

The banquet hosted by President Jacob Zuma for Patil Wednesday caused some angst to at least five invitees who had been issued cards by the hosts but were not informed of a ‘change’ by either the South Africans or the Indians. They landed up but were politely but firmly turned back. In a first perhaps,even the official Rashtrapati Bhavan photographer was not allowed to enter.

Road safety cause

The death of Nelson Mandela’s great granddaughter Zenani in a road crash had left a dark shadow on the football world cup hosted by South Africa in 2010. On Wednesday,newspapers extensively reported,the Mandela family,led by Zenani’s mother and grandmother,launched a road campaign in New York to contribute to the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety,especially in developing countries. New York is currently hosting the Commission for Global Road Safety.

Powerful reminder

South Africa is home to perhaps the finest museums in the world. Its Apartheid Museum gives out fabulous messages,most imaginatively. At the entrance,a visitor has to decide whether to enter as a White or a Non-White – powerfully driving home the message.

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