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Andre du Pisani Believes Hifikepunye Pohamba’s Diplomacy Skills are Superior to Thabo Mbeki’s

Against All OddsAndre du Pisani, contributor to Against All Odds: Opposition Political Parties in Southern Africa, believes that Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s greatest legacy is that of a peacemaker, and is largely underplayed by the media.

Du Pisani says the Namibian President’s diplomacy skills even outstrip those of former South African President Thabo Mbeki, and refers to a recent case when Pohamba invited conflicting parties from Lesotho to State House in Namibia a few months ago.

The conflict centred on allegations that there was a plot to oust Prime Minister Thomas Thabane of the All Basotho Congress (ABC) from a coalition government.

Thabane, with the blessing of country’s monarch King Letsie III, suspended the National Assembly last month.

“He (Pohamba) invited them to State House and told them basically ‘get your house in order’. That speaks to the quality of his mediation roles.”

Mbeki vs Pohamba

“I can tell you that I worked with many other mediators, including Mbeki. I think our own president has very good soft skills.”

Du Pisani said Pohamba has “very good listening skills, which are very important”.

According to him this is unlike Mbeki, who he described as an impatient intellectual.

“Pohamba is very patient, which is a very important resource in mediation”.

Mbeki has played mediation roles in conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Cote d’Ivoire, Zimbabwe and Darfur.

Mbeki is currently in charge of the mediation process in the war-torn Darfur region of South Sudan.

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