In a followup to a combative interview she had with South African journalist Jane Dutton on Al Jazeera just over a week ago that went viral, the South African minister of foreign affairs said Dutton was not being a journalist during the interview and she was only defending her country.
“She took her gloves off and became a South African in opposition rather than a journalist,” said Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, minister of international relations and cooperation in the latest interview.
In an interview with Dutton at the network’s Qatar headquarters, she apparently thought she was going to talk about South Africa’s relations with the Middle East when Dutton started asking her about the physical scuffs that were breaking out in South Africa’s parliament, and the calls by the likes of former minister Trevor Manuel for President Jacob Zuma to resign.
During the interview, Mashabane said she had a hole in her head because she had carried a water bucket on her head when she was a child. She also suggested she had no interest in the outcome of the presidential election in the United States, and she said she had a lot of respect for President Jacob Zuma.
In the latest interview, Mashabane said that during the interview with Dutton, whom she said had made derogatory remarks about Zuma, she had all the reasons and obligations to defend South Africa.
“Diplomacy is not about being sheepish,” she said. “It’s about defending your country and what you believe in.”