South Africa cel­e­brates 24th Na­tional Day

Jamaica Gleaner - - LIVING - Jody-Anne Lawrence/ Staff Reporter

ON THE cel­e­bra­tion of the most im­por­tant day of South Africa’s his­tory, mem­bers of Ja­maica’s govern­ment and South Africa’s own diplo­mats cel­e­brated and re­called the life of Nelson Man­dela.

May 10, 1994, was the day that Man­dela was of­fi­cially in­au­gu­rated as pres­i­dent of South Africa. Now, 24 years later, we are still cel­e­brat­ing and will be in years to come.

South Africa hosted its na­tional day at the Terra Nova All-Suite ho­tel, where many other diplo­mats came to cel­e­brate the mon­u­men­tal oc­ca­sion. It was a night where guests lit­er­ally had the taste of South Africa on the tip of their tongue, with some ex­quis­ite wine. First Sec­re­tary of the South African High Com­mis­sion Ty­rone Gun­nie kept the for­mal­i­ties flow­ing smoothly and quickly. Charge D’af­faires Phillip Ri­ley also wanted to cel­e­brate two women who he be­lieved also left great le­ga­cies for South Africa.

RE­MEM­BER­ING ICONS

“Mama Al­bertina Sisulu whose birth cen­te­nary we also cel­e­brate this year, and Mrs Win­nie Madik­izela-Man­dela, ded­i­cated their lives to the fight for free­dom, equal­ity, so­cial justice, and democ­racy in South Africa.

“Their le­ga­cies con­tinue to also serve as a lodestar as South Africa grap­ples with the triple chal­lenges of poverty, un­em­ploy­ment, and inequal­ity. Our efforts strive to lay the ba­sis for a bet­ter South Africa that is pros­per­ous be­cause it is peace­ful, demo­cratic, non­ra­cial, non-sex­ist, and united. This en­deav­our in­forms South Africa’s role in sup­port­ing the creation of a world that is just and eq­ui­table,” Gun­nie said.

He also thanked Ja­maica for their re­la­tion­ship.

Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade Kam­ina Johnson Smith shared some warm words on the cel­e­bra­tory oc­ca­sion.

“To­day, I am par­tic­u­larly pleased that re­la­tions be­tween Ja­maica and South Africa, built on the strong bonds of friend­ship and sol­i­dar­ity, con­tinue to grow and evolve,” said John­sonSmith.

Af­ter speak­ing about the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two coun­tries, and with for­mal­i­ties out of the way, they toasted with fine South African wine.

Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs and For­eign Trade Kam­ina Johnson Smith (left), Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tions Paula Llewellyn, and Chargé D’Af­faires of the High Com­mis­sion of South Africa, Phillip Ri­ley, look at a writ­ten time cap­sule of the life of...

US Chargé D’af­faires Eric Khant and his lovely wife Hal­ima en­joy the night out to show sup­port to the South African High Com­mis­sion.

Do­mini­can Repub­lic Am­bas­sador and Dean of the Diplo­matic Corps, José Tomás Ares look­ing quite el­e­gant at the event.

First Sec­re­tary of the High Com­mis­sion of South Africa Ty­rone Gun­nie lis­tens in­tently dur­ing the for­mal­i­ties of his coun­try’s cel­e­bra­tion.

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