Cuban tribute to Ambassador John Nkadimeng: His huge legacy on South Africa-Cuba relations will never been forgotten

By Rodolfo Benítez Verson, Ambassador of Cuba to South Africa, Eswatini and Lesotho

30 August 2020

Cuba and South Africa formally established diplomatic relations on May 11, 1994, just one day after Nelson Mandela´s inauguration as President.

In fact, Cuba was the first country that a liberated South Africa recognized diplomatically and the first in which South Africa established a new embassy after the end of Apartheid.

Commander-In-Chief Fidel Castro, guest of honor at the inauguration ceremony, suggested Mandela to appoint as an Ambassador to Cuba someone he could fully trust.  It was not an ordinary ambassadorship posting; many plans for the future had already been discreetly discussed by the two leaders.

In August 1995, Mandela selected John Nkadimeng for this important position. It was not a surprise for us in Cuba. Cde. Nkadimeng started working with Mandela at the age of 25 in 1950 and they became very close. Mandela knew that Cde. Nkadimeng was up to the task.

The Cuban government could not be happier with the choice. Cde. Nkadimeng was already known by us in Cuba. We knew he was a very well-prepared cadre that combined great experience of leadership from the ANC, the SACP and the trade unions.

98th Anniversary of Turkey's Great Victory

by Elif Çomoğlu Ülgen, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in South Africa

30 August 2020

On 30 August this year, the Republic of Turkey proudly celebrates the 98th Anniversary of the “Great Victory” of the Turkish Nation.

Led by Mustafa Kemal, the epic War of Independence started in 1919 in Samsun, to culminate in victory on 30 August 1922, with the Field Battle of Commander-in-Chief. This victory was the attestation of our nation’s unyielding will to live independently on its homeland and paved the way for the proclamation of the Turkish Republic.

On this Victory Day, I would like to pay my deepest respects and gratitude to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey and to all fallen heroes in arms who sacrificed their lives for the independence of our homeland.

Kazakhstan Embassy’s Engagement with the African Commission on Nuclear Energy

Central Asia and Africa will benefit from Inter-Regional Dialogue on Nuclear Energy Governance

29 August 2020

Photo: Dr. Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE) and Mr Kanat Tumysh, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to South Africa

In a special interview with Dr. Messaoud Baaliouamer, Executive Secretary of the African Commission on Nuclear Energy (AFCONE), dedicated to the 29 August – the International Day against Nuclear Tests, the high-ranked African diplomat commended H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, First President of Kazakhstan and Leader of the Nation, for the initiative seeking to establish dialogue among nuclear-weapon-free zones (NWFZs), and praised the role and contribution of Kazakhstan in the promotion of nuclear disarmament, non-proliferation of WMD, and to a world free of nuclear weapons.

During the conversation Dr. Baaliouamer informed the Embassy of Kazakhstan in South Africa about the scheduled joint activities to be organized by AFCONE Secretariat, Government of Kazakhstan, International Science and Technological Center (ISTC) and other stakeholders in this sphere from September – November 2020.
The first event – an online webinar on "Virtual Meeting on Uranium Resources in Africa: Exploration, Exploitation and Cooperation Opportunities" with the participation of representatives of ISTC, AFCONE and the African Union, which is expected to be held on September 8, 2020.

Why the ANC should back ‘all-inclusive dialogue’ on Zimbabwe’s future

There may be, at last, the prospect of change in Zimbabwe, at least if the apparent attitude change of South Africa is any gauge.

Greg Mills, Director, The Brenthurst Foundation
Ray Hartley, Research Director, The Brenthurst Foundation

26 August 2020

The history of successful conflict mediation across Africa demonstrates the importance of three ingredients.

First, of an acceptance by the warring parties that there is more to be gained from ending conflict than continuing it.

Second, of the need for unified external pressure pushing the parties to the negotiation process.

And third, of the importance of leadership, timing and method.

Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe and, now, Emmerson Mnangagwa has shown a boundless capacity for making things worse for a long time. Now, after years of proving that the notion of “things not being able to get any worse” is untrue, there may be, at last, the prospect of change in Zimbabwe, at least if the apparent attitude change of South Africa is any gauge.

The head of the ANC’s NEC Sub-Committee on International Relations, Lindiwe Zulu, has said that it’s time for a “broad-based and all-inclusive dialogue” to chart the way forward for Zimbabwe.

Geo-Strategic Interface between South Africa - India - Sri Lanka

By Srimal Fernando and Vedangshi Roy Choudhuri

19 August 2020

The importance of South Africa in the political, economical, social and geographical context has been on the rise. Arguably, leadership has been the key element in leading the growth and increasing influence of South Africa. The other African countries have been leveraging the dominant role of South Africa to their favour in aspects of social and economic advancements. South Africa’s transformation lies in the steady growth in their political and economic developments fuelled by their international relations, beyond the borders of the African continent. Improving relationships have been led by South Africa’s growing influence with the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), South African Development Cooperation (SADC) and Brazil Russia India China and South Africa ( BRICS) member states.


Broad similarities are made with India and its growing influence in South Asia. India’s significant leadership role in the South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC), which is a group of eight nations, has been through trade and commerce and setting up international relations for the prosperity of the SAARC region counties. Both South Africa and India have their strategic geographical advantage as regards their location. South Africa, being in the Southern tip of Africa overlooks on trade routes around the Cape towards the busy Far East and at a vantage position of being en route to the rich oil trade. The significant trade route has the vested interest of American and European countries, some in legacy and most of it with the exploration of mineral wealth and burgeoning industrial, commercial and financial growth. Similar to SAARC in South Asia, South Africa’s leading role in SADC, a group of 15 African nations, has provided the strength and impetus of the importance in the region. However, a stark contrast of SADC, SAARC’s intraregional trade is in dismal 5% and has to do more to tap its immense potential.

French Covid-19 Donation Arrives in South Africa

On Tuesday, 18 August 2020, a Covid-19 donation of medical material and personal protection equipment from the French government arrived in South Africa.

The donation consists of reanimation pumps, material for intensive care units and medical isolation gowns, worth a total of R 1,8 million.

South Africa is the hardest hit country in Africa and the 5th in the world. This donation from the French Government will help the South African authorities and health workers, whose handling of the crisis was recently commended by the international community and the World Health Organization, to continue saving lives.

France is proud to support South Africa in its fight against this pandemic. This forms part of a coordinated  #TeamEurope response by European Union countries to provide comprehensive support to South Africa in this crisis.

Indonesia and South Africa build on more than 325 years of relations

17 August 2020

Address by H.E. Mr. Salman Al Farisi, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of South Africa; Republic of Botswana; the Kingdom of Eswatini and Kingdom of Lesotho on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence Day
17 August 1945 - 17 August 2020

Your Excellencies, distinguished colleagues in the South African government and institutions, and esteemed member of the Diplomatic Corps in South Africa; greetings to all of you.

Photo: Ambassador Al Farisi and Mrs Umi Al Farisi

First and foremost, I would like to send my prayers to each and every one of you and your loved ones, may you always be safe and healthy in these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As we learn from today’s reality, this pandemic has caused grievance to many, our thoughts and prayers are with them. Nonetheless, let us not forget the people who stand in the frontline of humanity’s struggle against this pandemic, they are all truly the unsung heroes in this battle.

Gabon offers Attractive Incentives for Investors

17 August 2020

Message by H.E. Mr. André William ANGUILE, Gabonese Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa on the occasion of the celebration of the 60th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Gabon

Your Excellency Minister PANDOR, Ladies and Gentlemen, Distinguished Colleagues,

Photo: Ambassador André William Anguile with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

On behalf of the President of the Republic of Gabon, H.E Ali BONGO ONDIMBA, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Pacôme MOUBELET BOUBEYA, and the Gabonese people, I would like to extend my gratitude to the South African Government and people, DIRCO staff members, and the diplomatic missions and international organizations accredited to South Africa for joining us to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the independence of the Gabonese Republic remotely.

On the 17th of August 1960, Gabon and France signed the solemn act of independence declaring that we were no longer a colony of France, thus giving us sovereign access to the international community, committed with the principles of Unity, Labor and Justice.

The year 1960 was to be crucial for the whole of Africa because 17 sub-Saharan countries became independent from their European colonizers, 14 of them from France, including Gabon.

Gabon, a central African country of 267000 sq. kms, lying astride the Equator with 800 kms of Atlantic Ocean seacoast is rich in natural resources and with a young and vibrant population of around 2 million people for which almost half of it lives in Libreville, the capital city.

Gabon is endowed with riches including oil, fifth largest producer in Africa and 3rd largest manganese producer in the world and other minerals such as gold, diamond, iron ore, rare earth and 85% of its territory is covered with rainforest that shelters rare and awesome species of trees and wildlife as well as the unique Oklo reactor zone, the only known natural nuclear fission reactor on Earth which has been active for 2 billion years.

Thank You, Fidel Castro, the Voice of Rebellion and Hope

By Rodolfo Benítez Verson, Ambassador of Cuba to South Africa, Eswatini and Lesotho

13 August, 2020

August 13th is a special day for Cubans and many revolutionaries around the world. Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, or just Fidel, as the Cuban people call him, turns 94 years old today in eternity. Instead of mourning his physical loss, we celebrate his legacy.

61 years ago, under the leadership of Fidel, Cuba embarked on a quest to achieve its true and definitive independence. The undertaking implied the daring challenge of demonstrating if a small nation could overcome a history of foreign intervention and neocolonial domination, against the interests of our closest neighbor, the United States, the most powerful military and economic nation on the planet.

To evaluate the results of the Cuban Revolution so far and the role of Fidel Castro, it is important to understand that Cubans have had to survive and develop for more than 60 years in absolutely unjust and unjustifiable conditions, under a criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States.

The World is One Family: India’s Developmental partnership with Africa

14 August 2020
File photo: President Ramaphosa visited India as Chief Guest at the 70th Republic Day celebrations on 26 January 2019 in New Delhi

In the 21st century, India and Africa both face the challenges of meeting the goal of Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG) 2030. Considering the similarities in our socio-economic circumstances, we share similar developmental priorities with focus on developing social and physical infrastructure; building human capacity and resources; creating conditions for inclusive growth that will reduce inequality in our societies.

India’s developmental partnership with Africa has been guided by developmental priorities of host countries. Under developmental partnership, focus is on building local potential and  improving on local opportunities to its people. India’s developmental partnership does not impose any conditionality and is demand driven.

One of the mechanisms of project financing adopted under India’s developmental partnership in Africa is Lines of Credits (LoCs) for projects aligned with the national development priorities of the recipient countries. The projects under the LoCs range from critical infrastructure sectors such as transport connectivity; power generation and distribution; agriculture and irrigation; manufacturing industries; healthcare; education and capacity building. Some of these iconic projects completed in Africa include the Parliament Building of Gambia, the Presidential Palace in Ghana, the Kosti Power project in Sudan which provides 1/3rd of the country’s power, the Nyaborongo Power Project in Rwanda which provides 1/4th of the country’s power, the Upper Ruvu Water Treatment Plant in Tanzania which provides clean drinking water to more than 2 million people in the Dar es Salaam area. India has assisted in developing new industries in a number of countries by establishing the first Cement Plant of Djibouti, the first Milk Processing Plant of Mauritania and the first Sugar Factory of Ghana.

Fixing Zimbabwe Requires South African Honesty About Itself

The imposition of a curfew and massive deployment of the military have amplified the Harare regime’s paranoia and insecurity. Will South Africa finally act?

by Tendai Biti, Former Minister of Finance, Zimbabwe and Greg Mills, Director, The Brenthurst Foundation

13 August 2020

Three years after the departure of Robert Mugabe as President, Zimbabwe finds itself in familiar territory: A vortex of repression as a consequence of interwoven crises of leadership, legitimacy and socio-economic decline. The last month has seen the indiscriminate arrest, abductions and torture of activists, lawyers and journalists. The imposition of a curfew and massive deployment of the military have amplified the Harare regime’s paranoia and insecurity. And yet it may be a defining moment for a country that has remained in a permanent state of crises for much of the last 40 years.

Into this environment step South Africa’s special envoys, Sydney Mufamadi and Baleka Mbete. Can they help to put Zimbabwe at last onto a different path to stability and prosperity?

Three scenarios are currently imaginable in Zimbabwe: that the current situation continues, in which only continued decline is foreseeable; that there is a change of leadership within ZANU-PF, which on current form is unlikely to improve matters; and lastly, of a MDC-ZANU transitional government, which enables an arrangement to a different future.

Only the last offers any hope for an economic recovery.

In the absence of internal champions, and a ZANU regime that observes no restraints in preserving its grip on power, achieving this more positive scenario requires external facilitation.

South Africa, as the regional hegemon, seems to have realised this responsibility with the appointment of its two envoys. But for this intervention to be successful in stabilising Zimbabwe, this will have to occur in a manner not unlike South Africa’s own transition, and like Pretoria managed with Harare after the abortive election in 2008, though preferably in a more even-handed fashion. And it will in so doing have to admit the very essence of the systematic governance failure of liberation movements across the southern African region in the tendencies of impunity, entitlement and a zero-sum economic mentality.

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