Speech by Ambassador Khumalo on the occasion of the SA Freedom Day
V.M KHUMALO, SOUTH AFRICAN AMBASSADOR TO IRAN
AT RECEPTION MARKING THE 25TH FREEDOM DAY ANNIVERSARY
OF THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
His Excellency, Mr Agha Jafari;
Officials of Government;
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, it is my pleasure to extend my warmest welcome to you. I am honored to have you join us tonight, to celebrate Freedom Day, an important commemoration in the history of South Africa.
On the 27th of April 2019, South Africa will commemorate 25 years since the very first democratic elections in the country where ALL South Africans, had the opportunity and freedom to exercise their democratic right to participate in the governance of our country. We celebrate Freedom Day because it ushered in a new beginning of hope for a transformative future for all South Africans.
We are thankful for Iran’s contribution and support towards the struggle for freedom in South Africa. This has been personified in the visits by former President Mandela to Iran in 1992, and again in 1999, where he was warmly received by the Grand Ayatollah KHAMANEI.
For the past 25 years, Iran has remained an important friend to South Africa. Through the Joint Commission of Cooperation our countries have expanded engagements in a number of sectors such as tourism, trade and investment, science and technology, arts and culture, health, education, to name a few.
South Africa will continue to support Iran during this difficult time and as indicated during the Joint Deputy Ministers Meeting last month, ‘’South Africa and Iran will weather the storm together”. In this regard we look forward this year to hosting President Rouhani in South Africa. This important visit will serve to further strengthen our existing bilateral relations and mutual support.
Dear Friends, as we celebrate this historic day with you, it gives me great pleasure to reaffirm that our doors remain open to continue to work with the Government and great people of the Islamic Republic of Iran to strengthen the bonds of friendship and expand people-to-people exchanges.
Last but not least, we offer our condolences to the families of the victims of the recent floods. To this end we encourage everyone to commit to the global efforts to combat climate change and its devastating effects on our environment.
I THANK YOU!!!