It was all pomp and circumstance yesterday as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn as South African President. He first occupied the seat last year after his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, was forced to resign over a string of corruption accusations and state capture by his business crony.
It was not a dignified exit and it badly tarnished the position of head of state something the incumbent has promised to reverse. Incidentally, Zuma was the only absent former South African president and his explanation was classic: “Too busy staying out of jail”!
The swearing-in could not have come at a better time, on Africa Day, and it was by no means a coincidence. From the number of African Heads of State who graced the occasion, the continent’s 56th-anniversary celebrations were surely well attended.
But it is our hope that it was not only about merry-making, that the mini-summit had time to talk African business. The presidential seating arrangement caused quite a cacophony of opinions and what could follow.
So it was certainly the right place to discuss security matters in the region which, it seems, has not interested other parties, publicly anyway.
In politics, some of those issues are dealt with behind closed doors, away from the glare of the lights. But some of them need to be discussed and the outcomes made public. That way, the public will know where to place blame and who is not honouring their part of the bargain.
People like to say that politics is a dirty game, but it depends on what vantage point one is looking from, otherwise, it is made clean or dirty by the main players, otherwise the rules of the game are the same.