Tag Archives: breaking

Department of Home Affairs


The Department of Home Affairs calls on all foreign nationals who have applied for citizenship through naturalisation to approach offices where they lodged their applications to urgently update their contact details.

The Department is concluding its adjudication processes to be followed by induction and naturalisation ceremonies scheduled to take place in Kwazulu-Natal and Gauteng in August. The Department has noted that in some instances application processes take longer than expected, resulting in some of the applicants changing their contact details or even losing them. This has proven difficult for the Department to reach a number of the applicants.

Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa Calls for Strengthened Partnerships to Boost Job Creation

A key aspect of South Africa’s National Development Plan, the blueprint for creating sustainable growth and development in the country, is its emphasis on the power of public-private-partnerships (PPPs), says Brand South Africa’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mrs Linda Magapatona-Sangaret.

Statistics South Africa recently released a quarterly labour force survey, which shows that the unemployment rate rose to 27.2% from 26.7% in the first three months of this financial year. Commenting on these statistics Magapatona-Sangaret said: “Economic growth, job creation and poverty alleviation are immense challenges that the government cannot meet alone. Public-private partnerships serve as one of the viable solutions in addressing this challenge as they are a catalyst for economic growth in South Africa”.

“Our country’s strong capital markets, vibrant economic policies, stable political climate, a competitive private sector, proud democracy and a robust economic outlook, put us in the ultimate position to enhance effective partnerships between public and private sectors for employment creation.”

Following President Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation address, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel defined the four key areas which are addressed and inspired by PPPs; transfer of skills, exposure to work, job creation and entrepreneurial activity. 

In 2015, the World Bank commissioned a benchmarking study ‘The 2015 Infrascope’ carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit that evaluated the capacity of African countries to implement sustainable and efficient PPPs. South Africa scored highest overall in all. Factors favouring South Africa, versus its peers on the African continent, is that it has PPP-specific laws and policies, sufficient financial market depth to fully enable PPP financing and National Treasury as an established central unit coordinating and approving PPPs.

The unemployment rate was reported to have jumped 0.5% to 27.2% in the second quarter of 2018, which equates to 6.1 million unemployed South Africans who are looking for work. The jobless rate had remained unchanged at 26.7% in the first three months of the year and the end of 2017.

“We are all collectively responsible for doing our part when it comes to job creation in South Africa; the everyday citizen needs to prepare themselves with the appropriate education and direction to succeed when opportunity arises, the business owner needs check out the struggles of the people around him/her and be open to new business ideas, and the government and private sector need to strengthen collaborative efforts for the best interests of the South African people. We need to create an honest assessment of where we are and also where we want to be as a country.  From there, we can envision genuine economic progress for the future,” concluded Magapatona-Sangaret.

Stephen Pandula Gawe


It is with deep grief and sadness to inform the South African society about the untimely death of Comrade Stephen Pandula Gawe.

Comrade Stephen Pandula Gawe passed away on the 18 th July 2018 while he was visiting his daughters in Oxford, Britain.

Comrade Gawe is the off-spring of the late Reverend Walker and Regina Gawe who were the active Members of the ANC before it was banned. The former was the President of ANC in the Cape Province and one of the accused in the 1956 Treason Trial.

He was born 5 January 1938 in King Williams Town at St. Chad Mission House. He matriculated at St. Matthews School in 1955 before proceeding to the University of Fort Hare where his studies for BA Honours were abruptly disrupted when he was detained at Fort Glamorgan Prison, for ANC underground activities.

Shortly thereafter, he left the country to continue with his studies at Trinity College, Oxford; Edenburg and Nottingham Universities. His working career started in the ANC offices in London under the then Chief Rep., Cde Mendi Msimang. Later, he became the ANC Chief Rep. in Italy. He represented ANC in various international platforms as part of gaining international solidarity and isolation of apartheid racist minority regime.

Post- apartheid and after the democratic breakthrough, he became South African Ambassador in Norway and Director in the Diplomatic School of the Department of International Relations, respectively. His last posting before retirement was being the Ambassador in Denmark.

He was married to the late Tokie Mzamo-Gawe with whom they were blessed with two daughters, Nomtha and Vuyo. At the time of his death, he was married to Dudu Khoza- Gawe.

He is leaving behind his Wife, Dudu Khoza-Gawe; daughters Nomtha Gray and Vuyo Gawe and Grand- children, Jonas and


His Memorial/ Funeral Services will be held at Congregation Church, Peelton, King Williams Town on Saturday 11 August 2018.


COMESA Deploys Election Observers to Zimbabwe

COMESA has deployed a short-term election observer mission to the harmonized elections in Zimbabwe set for 30 July 2018. The advance party of the COMESA delegation, arrived in Harare, Zimbabwe on Saturday July 21, 2018.

The mission will be led by Ambassador Ashraf Gamal Rashed (left), a member of the COMESA Committee of Elders from Egypt. He is expected to join the team on 25th July 2018.

The observer team comprises of representatives from several COMESA Member States’ and is supported by members of staff from the Secretariat.

The deployment of the mission follows an invitation by the Government of Zimbabwe to COMESA through the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC).

As part of its mission in Zimbabwe, the COMESA delegation will conduct pre-election observation which will include consultations with political parties, the ZEC, security agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) the Media and other electoral stakeholders. The aim is to gather information on election-related issues and to assess election preparedness. The delegation will also engage with the Diplomatic Community as well as with other election observers on the ground in selected provinces.

In May this year, COMESA conducted a Pre-Election Assessment mission to enhance the understanding of the electoral process and state of preparedness by various stakeholders in Zimbabwe. The findings from that mission will be included into the detailed report that will be submitted to the ZEC and the Government within 90 days from the election date.

The overall, objective of the COMESA observer mission is to contribute to strengthening and consolidating the democratic processes in Zimbabwe.

Brand South Africa

Brand South Africa partners with the South African High Commission in Kenya to Commemorate International Nelson Mandela Day

Johannesburg, Wednesday 18 July 2018 – Hundreds of children gathered with diplomats, government officials and business leaders today at the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) to celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth.

With 2018 also marking the centenary since the birth of anti-apartheid stalwart, Albertina Sisulu, the South African High Commission in Kenya also remembered and celebrated the life of the struggle stalwart who lobbied for the education and equal rights of women and children. Mama Sisulu was widely regarded as a mother of the South African nation due to her motherly role and maternal instincts as a nurse and caregiver.

Led and hosted by the South African High Commissioner to Kenya, Her Excellency Koleka Mqulwana, the Mandela centenary events included a mass at the All Saints Cathedral  Church on Sunday and a visit to New Life Children’s Home where 400 learners from various primary and secondary schools, as well as university students, were hosted with the United Nations and celebrated a signing of a declaration. The students delivered a declaration that expressed the futures that they envisioned for themselves in which they would experience safety, food security, education, peace and prosperity.

High Commissioner Koleka Mqulwana, said: “The legacies of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu are about making a positive impact on people’s lives through selfless actions, particularly for children and those that are disadvantaged or disenfranchised. As an important East African ally to South Africa, it is fitting that we are commemorating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in Kenya, whilst also taking to heart the message of the life of Albertina Sisulu in 2018.”

United Nations regional representatives that attended today’s event included UNICEF-Kenya Representative, Patrizia DiGiovanni; H.E. Mr. Jean-Pierre Ossey, Deputy Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Congo; H.E. Mr. Marek Rohr-Garztecki, Chair of the Eastern European Group, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Poland; H.E Mrs. Marta Eugenia Juarez Ruiz, Chair of the Latin America and the Caribbean Group, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Costa Rica; H.E. Mr. Victor Conrad Ronneberg, Chair of the Western European and Other States Group, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Norway; Amb. Dr. Monica Juma, Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade from the Government of Kenya; as well as Ms. Thoko Didiza, a representative from the Government of South Africa.

The staff of the South African High Commission also took the opportunity of Nelson Mandela Day to spend 67 minutes – one minute for every year that Mandela spent in public service – with children from the New Life Children’s Home donating essential items, feeding the babies, doing laundry and gardening.

“The admirable collaboration with South African businesses operating in Kenya in celebrating the centenary has been inspiring. Ploughing back into Kenyan communities by South African companies through their corporate social responsibility initiatives planned throughout the year is in line with Nelson Mandela core values of humility, selflessness and passion,” the High Commissioner said.

Today’s commemoration coincided with hundreds of similar events around the world.

South African President, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, launched the centenary celebrations in South Africa on 11 February 2018 with the aim of celebrating the legacy of Nelson Mandela which should inspire change, unity and development for all Africans.

Brand South Africa Chief Marketing Officer, Linda Sangaret said: “The legacy Nelson Mandela left with us is that you can have many roles as a leader beyond being in a position of power. Leaders of today can look to the Mandela legacy to understand the distinction between positional power and personal influence.”

Additional Nelson Mandela centenary events planned for July include a Mandela Lecture at the University of Nairobi on 26 July 2018, the unveiling of Nelson Mandela and Dedan Kimathi busts at the Heroes Garden of the Dedan Kimathi University of Technology; reconstruction of Zia Ra Wimbi Primary School in Kilifi; the donation of Mandela books at the Kenya National Library Services and a visit to Kakuma Refugee Camp for the benefit of young women and girls.

Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Global Markets, Dr Judy Smith-Höhn said: “It goes without saying that the African continent is central to driving positive perceptions of South Africa as a country. The activities of our Missions abroad are key to the work that we do in positioning South Africa as a competitive and attractive destination.

“We are delighted to have worked with the South African High Commission in Kenya on such a momentous occasion – that is the Centenary of Nelson Mandela.”



As we celebrate 100 years of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, it is important that we reflect on what he stood for, what he was prepared to die for, including the significant role he played in building a strong and united ANC when he was released, having served 27 years in apartheid jails, particularly his incarceration on Robben Island.

One lesson Mandela left us with, and that is still etched in my mind, is that though we are free, the true test of our devotion to freedom is just beginning. For, to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

Mandela, it will be recalled, was the first democratically elected president who negotiated and presided over a well-researched and highly acclaimed constitution of our country. It would therefore be difficult to separate Mandela from the struggle against the brutal oppressive system of apartheid.

Our freedom struggle started in 1652 when the two Khoi people, the Khoi Khoi and Khoi San resisted the establishment of a refreshment base at the Table Bay by the Dutch East Indian Company.

However, through laws of divide and rule and brute force, the colonialists were able to enslave the indigenous populace. Even then, the African people did not surrender, and instead continued their fight, employing other forms of struggle.

It was at the turn of the century that the Africans succeeded in reorganizing themselves. This culminated in the formation of the ANC 1912, when the people united in a bid to resist the oppressive laws and land dispossession by the settlers.

However, when the Nationalist Party won the elections in 1948 and introduced its policy of racial segregation known as apartheid, the ANC was forced to change its strategy and mobilized intensively in their fight against the most repressive laws of the racist regime.

Mandela reflects on how, in 1949 as young and militant revolutionaries, they changed the character and form of the ANC and its leadership by electing a more militant leader who was prepared to lead mass demonstrations and go to jail if need be:

“We wanted somebody of status, we could not find one in the ANC. And then we went to a rival organization, which was also having its conference here in Bloemfontein and got Dr Moroka, who was the Treasurer General of the All

African Convention, a rival of the ANC; we asked him further, whether he would be prepared to stand as the President of the ANC and whether he would be prepared to launch mass action in this country and go to jail if necessary. He said yes. Then we wrote out and gave him a ticket, a membership card…. And this is how he was elected President General of the ANC…That conference was one of conflict and tension”, said Mandela in his closing address at the ANC’s 49th Conference.

That conference produced the Programme of Action which led to the 1952 Campaign for the defiance of Unjust Laws. The stage had been set for mass struggles that engulfed the whole country.

Mass mobilization and resistance against the repressive apartheid laws culminated in the Sharpeville Massacre in March 1960 where 69 people were killed callously and many were injured when they were protesting against the innocuous apartheid pass laws.

The apartheid government banned all political organization and in response the ANC went underground and formed Umkhonto We Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

The apartheid government, brutal as ever, arrested many leaders. Those who were not incarcerated went into exile.

Internal mobilization, mass action by the civil society, armed struggle and international pressure and economic sanctions led to Mandela’s release in 1990 and the unbanning of all political organisations.

Having spent 27 years in prison, Mandela came out without any malaise. He led the organization diligently, with dignity and integrity. He oversaw the return of ANC members from exile and led the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) negotiations. During the negotiations, Mandela had to convince the militant black majority that it was necessary and important to negotiate and share power.

It was on 10 May 1994 that Nelson Mandela was sworn in as the first democratically elected president of the Republic of South Africa.

In his cabinet Mandela brought in bright, principled and ethical leaders who he felt would implement policies of the ANC and the country. He believed in collective leadership and held members of his executive accountable.

On a more personal and lighter note, when I turned 50 years of age and my son was celebrating his 21st birthday, I invited the old sage to bless our celebration with his presence and rejoice with my family. Madiba duly accepted and with no

fanfare, quietly arrived at my house, spending the afternoon with my family and invited comrades.

As the ANC Veterans, we shall always remember the selfless contribution that Mandela made in our struggle for liberation, and the tenacity he displayed in building our strong constitutional democracy. We shall strive to unite and bring back the values and traditions of our glorious movement. Nay, we will hold our leadership accountable, ensuring that corruption, gate keeping, killings for leadership positions in the ANC is dealt with decisively.

We shall not fail our people. Like Madiba, we are always ready and willing to serve society.

Snuki Zikalala

President of the ANC Veterans League


FEDUSA Condemns Hijacking and Kidnapping of Prasa Board Chair

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has condemned the hijacking and kidnapping of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Board Chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama on Thursday night. However news of the hijacking only became known over the weekend.

Information that has been made available by Gauteng police so far indicate that Kweyama was pepper-sprayed before being bundled into the boot of her car by unknown assailants. She was then driven around for three hours before being released unharmed in Kathlehong on the East Rand.

 FEDUSA and the United National Transport Union (UNTU), its affiliate in the passenger rail sector and the majority union at Prasa had campaigned tirelessly for the appointment of a permanent Board for the parastatal which faced many operational challenges and was embroiled in serious allegations of state capture; and of which Kweyama, a former Chief Executive of Anglo American and Chairperson of Business Unity South Africa eventually clinched the top position.

 FEDUSA General Secretary Dennis George hoped Kweyama will soon be back in office to continue her invaluable job of cleaning up the parastatal.

“We want a Board that will not be intimidated and distracted by such acts of senseless criminality and only focus on fully committing itself to confronting the challenges facing Prasa and introduce specific measures aimed at improving customer service and good corporate governance, underpinned by monitoring and accountability,” said George. We want to eventually see a Prasa that will provide the working class and commuters in general with access to affordable, reliable, and safe public rail transport services in line with the perspectives of the National Development Plan, concluded George.


Mintek in Benefician Partnership

Mintek has partnered with Difeme Holdings Group (PTY) LTD to contribute to the development of appropriate process technologies by providing technical services with the objective of advancing sustainable mining and minerals beneficiation in South Africa. This initiative is part of Mintek’s beneficiation strategy, as the Difeme Holdings Group (DHG), is a black owned mining start-up company with a focus to mine and beneficiate Quartz (SiO2) to a purity standard of higher than 99.99%, which is very rare in the world. Mintek’s General Manager of Research and Development, Dr. Makhapa Makhafola reiterated that with its world-class laboratories, pilot plant facilities and high calibre research staff, Mintek is very well positioned to drive the countries mandate with respect to minerals beneficiation and value addition. He also stated “these types of projects need to be undertaken in order to make an impact and create much needed meaningful employment opportunities especially in rural communities” Following a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) completed between Mintek and Difeme Holdings Group in 2016, Mintek was tasked to investigate the quality of the Riemvasmaak quartz deposits in Northern Cape through field evaluation, chemical and mineralogical test work and finally comminution test analysis and the test work revealed that the silica content is as high as 99.978% on some occurrences.

The Lancaster Foundation through its Enterprise Development initiative agreed to fund the feasibility study which, if successful will help stimulate economic development within the country. Jayendra Naidoo, Founder of the Lancaster Group and the Lancaster Foundation, said “The Lancaster Foundation’s core mandate is to promote the development of black owned and operated entrepreneurial businesses, and broader social development in South Africa.” “By supporting Difeme’s bankable feasibility study, the Foundation hopes to contribute to something that could bring significant economic development benefits to South Africa,” added Naidoo. Quartz is one of the earth’s most abundant minerals but very few deposits can be classified as high-purity quartz (HPQ), which can be defined as having 99.995% silicon dioxide content (SiO2). The HPQ an end market includes Fused quartz crucibles, Solar, Semiconductors, High Temperature lamp tubing and Telecommunications. Fused quartz is a material of primary importance because it improves the efficiency of solar powered devices. It’s also helping researchers drive down the cost of solar devices. Quartz glass is used in many facets of photovoltaic (PV) cell manufacturing, in light sources, reaction chambers, and tools used in the production of solar cells, thin films, and silicon wafers. Riemvasmaak village in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa has unexploited deposits of rose quartz from several pegmatite occurrences. Difeme Holdings Group (PTY) LTD who’s Managing Director Dennis George has a vision of developing a minerals processing and beneficiation plant for HPQ for use in the advanced high technology applications in South Africa identified this opportunity.

“Persistence Market Research argues that a new player in the market can gain market share of up-to 10% within 2 years of its production line up.,” said Dennis George, “This opportunity really excites us and offers a ray of light for small-scale mining companies.” Further test work has to however be conducted by Mintek to investigate the feasibility of removing/reducing the impurities to meet the required SiO2 specification for advanced high technology applications of 99.995%. Depending on the outcome a world of opportunity can open up for small communities across the country. Work on the feasibility study is expected to commence during the second half of the year.


Programme Directors,
Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,
Your Excellency Nangolo Mbumba, Vice President of the Republic of Namibia,
Honourable Mama Graça Machel,
Honourable Ministers, Premiers and Mayors,
Your Excellency Ambassador Cecilia Julin and other Ambassadors and High Commissioners,
The esteemed Modise and Bokwe families,
Fellow mourners, comrades, ladies and gentlemen:

We have convened here to say a final farewell to a very dear Comrade, Ambassador Billy Modise. I would like to believe that by now all of us are familiar with Billy’s biography which, for instance, is contained in the Obituary which was presented earlier. Accordingly there is no need for me to recount that biography.

However I must repeat that that biography tells us that for 63 years, from 1955 when he first went to Fort Hare University College to 2018 when he finally left us, Billy was a loyal member and activist of the ANC, the African National Congress.

It therefore stands to reason that that membership of the ANC surely defined in very good measure who Billy Modise was and dictated what he did. This is because, as we all know, the six decades during which Billy was a member and activist of the ANC were very critical in the process of the making and transformation of South Africa and therefore the evolution of the ANC itself.

Thus in Billy Modise we have one of those comrades who has been present as an actor in the process I have just mentioned, of the making and transformation of our country and the evolution of the ANC. As we all know, this was a process which, among others included:

➢ a most determined and multi-sided struggle within South Africa, with the liberation movement broadly united around the Freedom Charter; combined with,
➢ a similarly determined and truly massive international movement of anti-apartheid solidarity;

which both offensives, the domestic and the international,

➢ obliged the apartheid regime to enter into negotiations with the liberation movement to end the system of white minority rule; which led to the moment when we said ‘free at last’!, followed by
➢ democratic elections since 1994, with the ANC winning all the national elections during our years of democratic rule; and consequently
➢ South Africa’s assumption of her rightful place in Africa and the rest of the world, after many years of international rejection and isolation.

All these were each great victories in themselves. As South Africans we have owed it to the architects of each of these victories to bestow on them the deserved accolades. And of course those accolades are finally due to all those, including the masses of our people, whose collective actions finally brought freedom to our country.

Billy Modise occupies an honoured place among these who must receive these accolades.

However it must surely be a matter of common cause among all of us that truly to honour these great patriots requires more than these praises we must indeed shower on them. What is imperative, in addition, is that we must do our best to ensure that the example set, and the legacy left behind by these patriots, should serve to inspire the present and future generations to emulate that example and build on that legacy.

Accordingly as we say farewell to Comrade Billy Modise with all the due accolades, we must also surely repeat together – let us nurture a million more Billy Modise’s!

Last year the then Secretary General of the ANC, Gwede Mantashe, joining the ANC Stalwarts and Veterans among whom Billy belonged, sounded the alarm bells about exactly this matter – the need to nurture a million more Billy Modise’s! – when he presented a Diagnostic Report on the ANC in which he said, among others:

“Revolutionary morality is about the leadership of our movement adhering to higher standards of behaviour…We owe it to ourselves first, the movement and society, to analyse in detail the implications of a liberation movement that has ascended to power and, therefore, controls huge resources. Being in power is rapidly becoming a source of political bankruptcy, in that members of the ANC fight for deployment either as councillors, MPLs and MPs – respectively, as if there is ‘no tomorrow’… It is foreign to our movement for comrades to see deployment as a source of material benefit rather than the reason to serve the people. These fights among comrades turn the interest of our people off, and push them away from the movement.”

It would of course have been a matter of especial concern to all our people that Secretary General Mantashe was talking about our country’s governing party. Accordingly the abandonment of higher standards of behaviour by many within the governing party, Billy Modise’s party, which SG Mantashe decried, meant, very directly, that this would seriously undermine the capacity and possibility for the governing party truly and effectively to serve the people of South Africa.

Thus does Billy’s own party and our society as a whole need to inculcate in as many of our people as possible the example set by Billy Modise over many decades, of adhering to higher standards of behaviour, ever committed to serve the people!

My own first contact with Billy in the context of political struggle was in 1959. At that time I was a Member of the Executive Committee of the ANC Youth League at Lovedale High School which is immediately across the Thyume River from Fort Hare. Billy Modise was then Secretary of the ANC Youth League branch at Fort Hare.

At that time the Lovedale Youth League branch related to the Fort Hare ANC Youth League branch as its immediate senior. We therefore interacted with Billy and his comrades as our seniors.

The matter we sought to discuss with the ANC leadership at Fort Hare as students at Lovedale High School, a boarding school, arose from the fact that we were on strike and intended to leave the School as part of that strike. Our Fort Hare comrades were fully in support of our strike. Now we wanted them to endorse our departure from our school. Happily for us, they agreed with us that we should indeed leave school.

We believed that we had good reason why we should get the support of the ANC leadership at Fort Hare. We were convinced that that support would legitimise in the eyes of our parents, the ANC as whole, and our communities, our decision to leave Lovedale without being expelled.

I mention this incident which occurred almost 60 years ago to indicate the political weight the activist for liberation, Billy Modise, carried, even while he was part of the youth, having served as Secretary of the Fort Hare SRC, Secretary of the ANC Youth League at Fort Hare and the Victoria East ANC region, and member of the national leadership of the National Union of South African Students, NUSAS, the only non-racial and anti-apartheid national student organisation at the time.

It was surely a matter of great pride and satisfaction to Billy Modise that in the years after he left Fort Hare, successive generations of youth and students in our country continued to play important roles both in the struggle for liberation and the process of the construction and development of a democratic society.

Our experience during 24 years as a democratic country has confirmed that the task of the eradication of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid and building a prosperous non-racial and non-sexist democracy is indeed very complex.

Among others this emphasises the great importance of doing everything necessary and possible to develop and inspire our youth to engage in this historic process of the fundamental socio-economic transformation of our country, drawing the necessary lessons from the example Billy Modise set during his own youthful years!

That same experience of 24 years of democracy has also firmly confirmed that South Africa is not an island sufficient unto itself. To succeed in all its endeavours it needs to be fully integrated within Africa and the rest of the world.

We are indeed very honoured that H.E. Ambassador Cecilia Julin of Sweden has been able to join this final farewell to Billy Modise, holder of the prestigious Swedish Order of the Polar Star. In this context I would like to believe that all of us are very familiar with the outstanding role Sweden played in terms of the provision of massive support to our struggle.

As has been said already, we must of course continue to pay the tribute that is due to Billy for the work he did from 1960 onwards to help build what became a very powerful Swedish movement of solidarity with the peoples of South and Southern Africa.

It spoke to Billy’s dedication to the accomplishment of this task that, as a student in Sweden, he opted to abandon his studies in medicine to pursue other subjects, which gave him more time to do his political work both in Sweden and in other Nordic countries. That dedication contributed enormously to the privilege we enjoy to this day of excellent relations between Sweden and South Africa, and very warm, genuine people-to-people relations between our two peoples.

I would like to believe that as we continue the work to strengthen our relations with the rest of the world, including by helping to build a global movement for the democratisation of the system of international relations, our diplomats would do their best to learn everything that is relevant from the work Billy Modise did which helped to win for our country a genuine friend, the Kingdom of Sweden.

Ambassador Modise hoped that as our country strives to liberate itself from the negative tendencies which have engulfed it during recent years, it would also renew its focus on the strategic objective of the renaissance of Africa, loyal to the long-established Pan-Africanist traditions of his movement, the ANC.

As he taught at the Namibia Institute in Lusaka to train Namibians who would help to manage and develop the liberated Namibia, working side by side with the current President of the Republic of Namibia, H.E. Hage Geingob, Billy treated this task as an organic part of his life’s mission as a cadre of the ANC.

He had carried out his work in Sweden and other Nordic countries of helping to build the solidarity movement I have mentioned, working together with other liberation movements such as those from Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Somebody like the late Namibian, Jariretundu Kozonguizi, founder of SWANU, the South West Africa National Union, which ultimately disappeared, was to Billy a colleague, given that he had been an active member of the ANC Youth League when he was a student at Fort Hare.

Inspired by his vision and commitment relating to our Continent, Africa, and the practical example he set, we must pay tribute to and truly honour Billy Modise by regaining the unqualified respect of the whole of Africa for our country by doing the good and right things which gave hope to all Africans, including the African Diaspora.

The departure of Billy Modise from the world of the living confirms sad news we cannot escape, that an eminent generation in our country which has been involved in struggle for six decades or more, to change the lives of all our people for the better, is disappearing for ever.

These are women and men, like Billy Modise, who, throughout their lives, and despite being confronted by great challenges, have consistently conducted themselves according to a noble value system, and remained at all times humble, humanist, never self-serving, permanently ready to serve the people.

Thus it is that when death robs us of any among the generation of liberators I have mentioned, this produces a sense of foreboding that unless we act to prevent this by ensuring that many among the living emulate our liberators, such as Billy Modise, one day we will wake up and find that there are none in our country who would conduct themselves according to the noble value system I have mentioned, humble, humanist and never self-serving.

Sis’ Yoli and your daughter, Thandi, and the rest of the Modise and Bokwe families, please accept our sincere condolences at the loss of one very dear to you, Ambassador Billy Modise.

Our dear Ambassador, our esteemed leader, elder brother and friend, Comrade Billy, while we live we will do our best to help ensure that the nation does not lose the extraordinary legacy you have left behind for its benefit, intent to give substance to what has been and will be said – that the spirit of Billy Modise lives on!

May the outstanding patriot, Billy Modise, rest in eternal peace.

Thank you.

President Cyril Ramaphosa


President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a Special Official Funeral Category 1 for South Africa’s former Chief of State Protocol and recipient of the National Order of Luthuli, Ambassador Billy Modise who passed on earlier this week, at the age of 87.
A Special Official Funeral Category 1 entails elements of military ceremonial honours and is declared, in line with the Presidency’s State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy, for persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa.
“The late Ambassador Modise served our country selflessly and diligently and deserves this honour for his exceptional contribution to the achievement of a South Africa free of racial oppression and to the building of a non-racial, non-sexist and democratic country,”” said President Ramaphosa.
The President has directed that the National Flag be flown at half-mast at every flag station in the country until Thursday, 28 June 2018, the day of the funeral.
Further details will be announced as arrangements are finalised in consultations between government and the Modise Family.
President Ramaphosa has once again expressed his deep condolences to the family of Ambassador Modise and members of the diplomatic corps.