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62 Years of Diplomacy: India and Mongolia Turning a new page in ties

By Srimal Fernando

16 December 2018

Sixty two years ago India was in the forefront among nations in South Asia in establishing diplomatic relations with Mongolia. The relations between the two nations have traditionally been close and cordial.  India’s ties with Mongolia go back to thousands of years.  India has been consistent in its support to the evolution of the bilateral ties where the current diplomacy is at multiple layers. and in fact the Indian economy shows a very robust and consistent growth.  Expanding bilateral cooperation will be of great mutual benefit.  

Making history Hon Shri Narendra Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to have travelled to Mongolia. Despite having six decades of diplomatic relations it is a matter of deep satisfaction that there has been a revival of the ties after Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Ulan Bator in May 2015.


Miraculous Altai

7 December 2018

Russia is a vast and diverse country that has everything: from stern and gorgeous arctic plains to scorching hot deserts, from rolling green lowlands and hills to snow-capped mountain ranges.

But even among these immense natural riches, the Altai is considered a very special land with a truly unique geographic location, breathtaking natural sights, remarkable culture and history.

It is so huge that it actually includes two regions of Russia: the Republic of Altai and the Altai Krai. No amount of verbose and colourful descriptions can truly relay the magnificence, but we hope a glimpse into what makes this place so special will encourage people to visit and see it with their own eyes.


Fashion the Art of gainful employment

2 December 2018

The Pretoria Art Museum was once again the centre of creativity and expression as South African fashion designers were given a platform to parade their talent and capabilities at a unique venue of an art museum supported by the German Embassy in South Africa.  

Photo: Ambassador of Germany Dr Martin Schäfer pictured with MC KB Motilanyane, Cultural Officer for the City of Tshwane, Mmutle Arthur Kgokong and designers and models.

Trying to link fashion and politics German Ambassador to South Africa Dr Martin Schäfer referred to the adage of keeping up appearances.

He acknowledged the work of some of the coolest young South African designers including De Mil, ERRE, Isabel de Villiers, Loin Cloth & Ashes, Roman Handt and Roq and the vibrant sounds and beat of DJ Ralf Gum.


Msimang described as a selfless leader

8 December 2018

Struggle stalwart Mendi Msimang served people selflessly, said President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday.

Delivering the eulogy at the Special Official Funeral Category 1 for the late struggle veteran, President Ramaphosa said Msimang’s life can be described as one that was dedicated to serving others.

Msimang, a recipient of the Order for Meritorious Service in Silver was afforded the special official funeral which entails elements of military ceremonial honours.

He said the freedom fighter, came from a generation whose deeds will reverberate across the ages who played a prominent role in South Africa’s road to democracy and freedom.


SA reaffirms its commitment to human rights

7 December 2018

Marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), President Cyril Ramaphosa has reaffirmed South Africa’s commitment to uphold and champion human rights.

Photo: President Cyril Ramaphosa arriving at the Constitution Hill in Johannesburg received by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet. (Siya Duda: GCIS)

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted at a time when the nations of the world were etched with the scars of war. It too is a reminder to current and future generations of what our freedom has been built on.


International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

29 November 2018

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation in cooperation with the Embassy of the State of Palestine, the United Nations Information Centre and the Department of Arts and Culture hosted the 41st anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People in celebration of the lives and legacies of Nelson Mandela and Yasser Arafat on 29th November 2018 at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.

Photo: Ambassador Abd-El-Naceur Belaid of Algeria, Mr I Esau, Dr N Alkidwa, Ms Z Abdool, Mr V Mkhize, and  Ambassador H Dajani of Palestine

The event was held in line with the celebration of the centenary of South Africa’s anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela.


The South African Embassy Commemorates Nelson Mandela Centenary with the Hellenic Parliament

27 November 2018

On 27 November 2018, the President of the Hellenic Parliament, Mr. Nikolaos Voutsis, together with the Ambassador of South Africa, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, hosted a special event to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Nelson Mandela.

The commemoration was attended by the Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Markos Bolaris, MPs, Ambassadors, prominent business-people, famous artists and celebrities, and friends of South Africa.

In his welcome, Mr. Nikolaos Voutsis, President of the Hellenic Parliament, spoke to the packed room about the relevance of Mandela’s legacy to the world, especially the challenges Europe is facing today. The Ambassador of South Africa to Greece, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, highlighted the new dawn in South Africa under President Cyril Ramaphosa and the unique attributes of leadership that made Mr Mandela great, especially his human touch and his ability to inspire us to imagine and fight for a better world.   


SA and Kazakhstan Consultations

23 November 2018

The SA Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Regina Mhaule hosted the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Mr Yerzhan Ashikbayev, accompanied by a delegation from the Kazakhstan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for the Sixth South Africa-Kazakhstan Bilateral Political Consultations.

Bilateral relations between the two countries are cordial and are conducted under the umbrella of the structured Protocol on Regular Political Consultations, signed in 1997 and co-chaired at the level of Deputy Minister. The Consultations convene at alternating venues in Kazakhstan and South Africa, and Kazakhstan hosted a successful fifth round of Bilateral Political Consultations in Astana in November 2016.

The Bilateral Political Consultation serves to explore opportunities to strengthen bilateral relations between South Africa and Kazakhstan focusing on trade and investment, skills exchange and academic cooperation and to build on existing cooperation at various levels in the multilateral fora.

The Sixth round of Bilateral Political Consultations reviewed progress made since the previous round and it explored closer cooperation in the fields of education and skills exchange, science and technology, mining, agriculture and energy to encourage the expansion of economic cooperation.  Kazakhstan successfully hosted the EXPO2017 in Astana in 2017, under the theme “Future Energy” in which South Africa participation and showcased the Square Kilometre Array Radio Telescope.

Bilateral agreements in a variety of fields including trade and economic cooperation, immigration and justice are currently under consideration and close to finalisation.

The mainstreaming of Continental development priorities in the African Union, Southern African Development Community, and in Central Asia as well as other multilateral cooperation objectives, including the South African non-permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2019-20 formed part of discussions.  Kazakhstan also shared the priorities and achievements of their tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the period 2017-18.

Photo: Jacoline Schoonees - Dirco

Pandor receives French honour

8 December 2018

Ambassador of France to South Africa Christophe Farnaud, bestowed on South African Minister of Higher Education and Training, Naledi Pandor, the award of Officier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur (or Officer in the French Legion of Honour) on behalf of the French president at the French Residence in Pretoria on Friday

Minister Pandor is recognised for her remarkable, life-long achievements and for her efforts in nurturing and furthering the cooperation between France and South Africa in the field of science, technology as well as vocational and academic training during her time as Minister of Science and Technology and Higher Education and Training.


“Sport has the power to change the world” Nelson Mandela

8 December 2018

Nelson Mandela was proclaimed an honorary citizen of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, on 17 April 2008. To celebrate this icon and former state president of South Africa, on his 100th anniversary, a Diplomatic Basketball Tournament was organised under the auspices of the Nelson Mandela Foundation and in partnership of H.E. Bene Mpoko, Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, H.E. Mikhail I. Petrakov, Dean of European Group, the SA Department of International Relations and Cooperation and St Alban’s College in Pretoria.

Photo: Ambassador Nikolic hands over a certificate to Mr. George Bizos.  Ambassador Kuveratakis of Greece is also pictured.

The event ‘Sport has the power to change the world’ was held on 7 July 2018 in Pretoria at the outdoor basketball grounds of St Alban’s College.


MIAGI Be the Legacy tour

7 December 2018

The MIAGI (Music is a Great Investment) orchestra gave an inspired performance at the ZK Matthews Hall at UNISA on 30 November 2018. The talented musicians were celebrating their Nelson Mandela 'Be the legacy'-European Tour. The orchestra was conducted by Daniel Spaw and Tshepo Tsotetsi.

The a capella group, Just 6, known as the "band with no instruments", gave a jaw dropping performance. The band who create the sound of instruments with only their voices were part of the finalists at SA's Got Talent in 2017.

Tshepo Tsotetsi, a band leader, saxophonist, clarinettist, arranger and composer, enthralled the audience while conducting the orchestra in a few of his own compositions including, "Flowers and Rainbows" and "Quiet Night".

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November/December 2018







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