President Ramaphosa announces new SANDF leadership
President Cyril Ramaphosa announcing Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya as the new Chief of the South African National Defence Force and the Military Command. (Photo by Siyabulela Duda - GCIS)

15 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday announced Lieutenant-General Rudzani Maphwanya as the new Chief of the South African National Defence Force and the Military Command.

Lieutenant-General Maphwanya replaces General Solly Shoke who retires at the end of this month.

He will assume his new responsibilities on 1 June 2021 where he will be promoted from Lieutenant-General to General.

Travel and Diplomacy 

Press Release

15 April 2021

Thabiso Magodielo, a long standing associate of the Diplomatic Society, has been appointed as Travel Diplomacy Specialist. His vast experience in the travel and tourism sectors makes him the ideal point person to drive recovery in these sectors post pandemic.

Magodielo has a Bachelors qualification in Law, a certificate in public relations, and has a passion for travel and tourism having initiated several business and entities in relation to this sector. He has organized several events and hosted celebrities and high profile dignitaries like Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Miss World Pageant and also hosted the South African Cabinet Lekgotla with the president and all government officials.

Heads of Mission to South Africa Accredited

15 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa, on 14 April 2021, received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners-Designate who have been nominated by their governments to serve in diplomatic missions in South Africa at a credentials ceremony held at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

The ceremony was conducted under strict Covid-19 protocols. The Heads of Mission who presented their Credentials to President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook to advance their country's relations with South Africa.

Trade, tourism and investment are key to economic diplomacy. The travel, tourism and hospitality sectors take priority in the post-covid recovery. People to people contact and face-to-face interactions are at the core of human diplomacy.

The Diplomatic Society welcomes the Heads of Mission to South Africa and looks forward to fruitful interactions.

Qatar Pledges New $100 Million to Alleviate Syrian Humanitarian Disaster

14 April 2021

The State of Qatar pledged another $100 million to alleviate the Syrian humanitarian crisis.

This came during the speech of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani at the 5th Brussels conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and of the Region, which took place today via video conference.

His Excellency stressed the importance of having a collective response and enhancing contributions in alleviating the suffering of the Syrian people and the region. His Excellency added that the State of Qatar's financial and humanitarian aid to the Syrian people was more than $2 billion since the start of the crisis, whether in the form of governmental support or through non-governmental and charitable organizations.

Teqball launched in South Africa

14 April 2021

Local football hero and former goalkeeper for South Africa’s national football team, Brian Baloyi will head the local Teqball Federation. The launch at the Embassy of Hungary in Pretoria, South Africa showcased this ball sport played on a curved table with a football. The game was invented in Hungary in 2012 by three football enthusiasts: former professional player Gábor Borsányi , Hungarian businessman György Gattyán and computer scientist Viktor Huszár.

IAEA Ready to Support Japan on Fukushima Water Disposal

14 April 2021

Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi welcomed Japan’s announcement that it has decided how to dispose of treated water stored at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station and he said the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stands ready to provide technical support in monitoring and reviewing the plan’s safe and transparent implementation.

Japan’s chosen water disposal method is both technically feasible and in line with international practice, IAEA Director General Grossi said. Controlled water discharges into the sea are routinely used by operating nuclear power plants in the world and in the region under specific regulatory authorisations based on safety and environmental impact assessments.

Call for African medical supplies manufacturing facility

13 April 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the continent needs to build a vibrant and innovative African medical supplies manufacturing capability that meets the health needs of the continent’s people.

Addressing the High-Level Virtual Conference on Africa's Vaccine Manufacturing for Health Security on Monday, the President said throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa has demonstrated that it has extensive and substantial capabilities, resources and skills to address the challenges given rise to by the pandemic.

“Our task now is to harness all these capabilities, and to draw on the experience of the past year to build a vibrant and innovative African medical supplies manufacturing capability that meets the health needs of the continent’s people. This means that in the medium term, we need to expand existing capabilities into regional hubs that serve the continent as a whole,” President Ramaphosa said.

60th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight into space

12 April 2021

Today Russia celebrates the 60th anniversary of the legendary flight that made Yuri Gagarin the first man in space, a major source of national pride for millions of his countrymen.

On 12 April 1961 Gagarin took off in his Vostok spacecraft from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, then, part of the Soviet Union. It was then that the 27 year old Gagarin exclaimed his iconic catchphrase “Poyekhali!” (Let's go!).

His flight lasted 108 minutes, the time it took to orbit the Earth, before returning to home soil. Gagarin bailed out as planned and parachuted onto a field near the Volga River, southeast of Moscow.

Global Investment in Sustainable Development - 5th CC Forum held in Dubai

by Alberto Turkstra, Project Manager, Diplomatic World Institute
HH Sheikha Noora Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain receiving CC Forum's Sustainable Businesswoman award. Also pictured are Max Studennikoff, Chairman & Founder of CC Forum and HE Awadh Mohd Sheikh Majrin Bin Sultan

8 April 2021

The 5th iteration of the CC Forum “Global Investment in Sustainable Development” was held in-person in Dubai on March 31 and April 1, 2021. CC Forum has grown, in a very short time, into a leading platform where “governments present their innovative new strategies; where inspirational scientists relay to the world their revolutionary discoveries; where large corporations and small companies alike make global announcements, and where the brightest start-ups connect to the savviest of investors”.

ASEAN Golf Day forges closer cooperation between ASEAN and South Africa
(l-r) Mr Chua Thai Keong, High Commissioner of Singapore, Mr Alvin Botes, Deputy Minister of Dirco, Mr Salman Al Farisi, Ambassador of Indonesia, Justice Steven Majiedt, Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and Mr Hoang Van Loi, Ambassador of Vietnam

6 April 2021

The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Pretoria, South Africa, as chair of the ASEAN Pretoria Committee (APC) 2021 organized the ASEAN Golf Day 2021 which was held on 30 March at Blue Valley Golf Estate in Midrand. Strict Covid-19 protocols were observed.

The ASEAN Golf Day was attended by 40 participants consisting of Ambassadors and representatives of ASEAN countries as well as diplomats from other countries based in Pretoria, representatives from the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, the Department of Defence and the Department of Human Settlements of South Africa.

South African Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, opened the tournament with an early morning tee-off.

Vietnam – opportunity, admiration and acclaim

(l-r) Chairperson of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, CPV Secretary-General Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh

6 April 2021

World leaders, heads of international organizations and regional bodies congratulated and acknowledged the election of the leaders of the State and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) announced on Monday. Chairperson of National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue, State President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, CPV Secretary-General Nguyen Phu Trong and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh were confirmed in their leadership roles after the deliberations and consultations of the 13th CPV congress which took place in February 2021.

Land Day

By HE Hanan Jarrar, Ambassador of the State of Palestine to South Africa

31 March 2021

Around the world, Palestinians have commemorated Land Day on 30 March each year since 1976. On that day, thousands of Palestinians from towns and villages in the Galilee region, northern Israel, marched in protest against an Israeli order to confiscate land belonging to indigenous communities in the area. The equivalent of 2000 hectares was ordered for appropriation.

Israel's attempt to seize land was viewed as a continuation of the policy to convert the territory at the expense of Palestinians. The vast majority had already been expelled by Israel and the land and property they left behind was seized by the Israeli government through dubious legal means. To protest against the new measures, the Palestinian population declared a general strike.

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