Walking in the footsteps of giants
Two foreign policy organs, the South African Council on International Relations (SACOIR), and the Association of Former Ambassadors, High Commissioners and Chief Representatives were launched on July 16 2015 at the OR Tambo Building, Pretoria – The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).
Mo go gatelego hlako ya pele, le ya bobedi e a gata (the second hoof steps where the first has stepped) said Dirco Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane referring to struggle stalwarts, like Oliver Tambo, Johnny Makatini, Dulce September, Eddie Funde and George Nene, the current chair of the Association of Ambassadors. As Chief Representatives of the struggle movement they courageously exposed the injustice and brutality of apartheid to the world.
SACOIR brings the voices of various segments of civil society to the foreign policy process. Together these organs will serve as advisory bodies in a complex interdependent world where international relations are no longer the sole preserves of states.
It will also serve to realise the domestic potential of South Africa’s global interactions.
Former Deputy Minister Aziz Pahad and Ambassador George Nene highlighted the importance of preserving the institutional memory and to garner the experience and expertise of former high calibre representatives to develop a robust foreign policy.
The 19 members of SACOIR are as follows:
Academia: Professor Maxi Schoeman; Professor Anthoni Van Nieuwkerk; Dr Siphamandla Zondi; Professor Shamil Jeppie; Professor Sekgothe Mokgoatsana and Professor Peter Vale.
Business: Ms Nonhlanhla Mjoli-Mncube; Dr Thandi Cynthia Ndlovu; Ms Chichi Maponya; Ms Danisa Baloyi and Mr Billy Masetlha.
Civil Society: Dr Somadoda Fikeni; Mr Jimmy Gotyana; Mr Tshepo Mashiane; Amb Griffiths Mandlenkosi Memela; Mr Kenny Morolong; Ms Molly Dhlamini; Mr Aziz Pahad; General Maomela Motau; Dr Kuseni Dlamini and Mr Vasu Gounden.
Labour: Mr Dennis George and Mr Joel Mfingwana.