The moderator of a lecture headlined by South Africa’s Foreign Affairs Minister says Jamaica’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Kamina Johnson Smith, did not walk out of the event to evade a question from a Palestinian-Jamaican.

The lecture was held at the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies on Thursday evening.

It was moderated by President of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, UNIA, Steven Golding.

Daina Davy reports.


The lecture was headlined by South Africa’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Naledi Pandor who was speaking at the time Minister Johnson Smith left the room.

A 20-second clip of her leaving the lecture while Minister Pandor was speaking is circulating on social media.

Some social media users raised questions about the optics of the clip, while others said clarity was needed.

Minister Johnson Smith posted on X Friday morning.

She called the video an unfortunate misrepresentation of the circumstances at the lecture event.

She says the event with Minister Pandor was scheduled to end at 8pm.

According to Minister Johnson Smith, she was due to attend a meeting of CARICOM to discuss the ongoing security situation in Haiti.

The Minister says she advised Minister Pandor and the moderator that she needed to leave for the Haiti meeting.

She says she waited until 8:15pm, 15 minutes beyond the scheduled completion of the lecture, but then had to go.

Minister Johnson Smith says persons heard her advise that she had a meeting and saw the moderator signal for her to leave.

Steven Golding is confirming that Minister Johnson Smith did not walk out abruptly.

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Mr. Golding says the Minister had previously explained to the South African High Commissioner that she had a conflicting engagement.