Our panel were generous, extremely well-informed and challenged each other all evening. There was no issue too small and no challenge too big. There was a healthy tension to proceedings, as these issues tugged at the heart strings of all our panellists.
Whilst being challenging about the gure of their beloved nation, they also cared deeply.
During the fast moving Q&A Session, there was an engery and hugely informed discussion.
At the very end of the evening, the final question was unforgettable. One of our attendees, Hugh Daly, shared that was was from Belfast and that politically things were far from stable and in danger of slipping back to the bad old days.
He dreamed of being able to have the heated adult political discussion that our South African friends were enjoying.
A golden moment for all.
WHO WAS ON THE PANEL
Pumela Salela is the UK Country Head of Brand South Africa, a government agency promoting the country as a favoured destination for trade, tourism and investment. She is a former director in two SA government departments dealing with the economy and served a term at the World Bank.
Sharon Constancon is the chair of the South African Chamber of Commerce in the UK. She is the founder and CEO of Genius Methods, a UK company which assesses corporate boards. She is also the CEO of Valufin, a South African foreign exchange advisory service operating in both countries.
Graham Boynton is an international journalist, wildlife conservationist, consultant and former travel editor of the Daily Telegraph. He grew up in southern Africa and was deported from South Africa during the apartheid years. He is the author of Last Days in Cloud Cuckooland, which covered the end of white rule in Africa.
John Battersby is an author, former journalist and newspaper editor. He is chair of trustees of the Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust, director of policy in the South African Chamber of Commerce in the UK and an ambassador for the Tutu Foundation UK.