The disappearance and presumed murder of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, allegedly on the orders of the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, has diverted much needed attention to the country.
This is of course as the kingdom prepares for a string of leaders from around the world for an investment summit dubbed "Davos in the desert" and one by one leaders are beginning to pull out.
Speaking to Bongani Bingwa, Editor-in-Chief of the Mail & Guardian, Khadija Patel says the changes in Saudi Arabia have always been superficial..
Over the last year, there have been enough alarm bells regarding the conduct of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman toward that reputation of a reformer.— Khadija Patel, Editor-in-Chief of the Mail & Guardian
We have seen on one hand him lifting the ban on women driving and on the other hand, we have seen him jail women who have been at the forefront of advocacy for women's rights.— Khadija Patel, Editor-in-Chief of the Mail & Guardian
She says Khashoggi was a Saudi loyalist who just merely disagreed with the plans by the prince for the kingdom.
She adds that the death and disappearance of Khashoggi is puzzling as he was a supporter of the prince who just disagreed with him slightly.
Listen below to the full political desk: