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Your Correspondent Takes South Africa’s Finance Minister to Lunch

It’s true. There I was, treating Trevor Manuel to lunch, at the Olympia Cafe in Kalk Bay, Cape Town’s best restaurant. He had the Thai fish cakes (pronouncing them to be “lovely”), while his companion Maria Ramos, who is head of the South African parastatal Transnet, ate the geelbek – same as me. (And the better choice.)

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Of course, technically, everyone in the room was treating Trevor to lunch, because our taxes pay the head of the Finance Ministry‘s salary (which, to judge by the looks of his brand-new silver 5-series BMW, ain’t too bad). But I and my Lovely Assistant (involtini melanzane – also scrumptious) had the table closest to him and his small party, so we felt especially magnanimous.

Always a pleasure, Trevor! Let’s do it again soon.