GERMAN HONOUR FOR MMINELE
THE highest tribute Germany can pay to individuals for services to the nation was bestowed on a prominent South African this week.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier bestowed the German Order of Merit on Daniel Mminele, Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank.
It was to honour him for his work in furthering German-South African relations.
The decoration is given to both Germans and foreigners alike.
German Ambassador Martin Schaefer hosted the prestigious ceremony at his residence in Pretoria, which was also attended by German Bundesbank Executive Board Member Dr Andreas Dombret and members of the Mminele family who flew in from Germany for the occasion.
Dombret, who spoke at the ceremony, said Mminele was in the truest sense a globe trotter, and hailed him as an “outstanding patron of co-operation between South Africa and Germany”.
“I am extremely humbled by this great honour and wish to express my extreme gratitude to the German President,” Mminele said upon receiving the Order of Merit.
Mminele, who is from Phalaborwa, arrived in Germany as a child and completed his studies and training there.
“He has had a distinguished career based in Germany, Britain, and in South Africa.”
Colleagues of Mminele at the Reserve Banks refer to him as “the German” particularly due to his punctuality and precision.
German Ambassador Schaefer characterised Mminele as a true public servant in the best terms of the word, “someone who in his life and his heart is half German”.
Mminele spoke at great length about the strong relations between the two countries, and noted that there are 600 German companies based in South Africa, employing 90 000 workers.
He also made reference to the fact that a memorandum of understanding was signed in 2016 between the South African Reserve Bank and the Bundesbank.
Both banks will be co-hosting a conference in March.
German Ambassador Martin Schaefer, SA Reserve Bank Deputy Governor Daniel Mminele and German Bundesbank executive board member Dr Andreas Dombret.