Welcome Message December 2019

Welcome Message December 2019

Welcome to the South African Embassy website and the highlights of the month.

Greetings to one and all and join me in the journey as we take you down memory lane with this refreshed mission portal which contains content that is exciting and informative Let me take this liberty as I bid farewell to Turkey, as my tour of duty ends this December after a completion of interesting and exciting years as South Africa’s Ambassador to Turkey, non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan and Republic of Uzbekistan. It has been a wonderful 4 years which I and my family enjoyed as we immersed in the friendliness of the diplomatic community and the Turkish hospitality. Although I had an intensive diplomatic agenda, I had the chance to criss-cross the length and breadth of Turkey and experience the rich and colourful history and cultural heritage of Turkey.

On the diplomatic relations between South Africa and Turkey, I can say that both countries enjoy cordial bilateral relations and will continue to strengthen the relations at a high level. On the economic front, much still needs to be done to level the playing field and attain the “Win-Win” goal for mutual benefit.

Also as being the South African non-resident Ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan and to the Republic of Uzbekistan, I tried to strengthen the diplomatic relations with several visits to these countries and focused on building a strong bridge between the countries government officials.

Finally I would like to wish all the best to the South African Embassy in Ankara and thank the embassy staff and diplomats for helping me navigate this long arduous journey. I strongly believe they will capable of moving South Africa forward in all their future works and thank to all the people I met during my stay in Turkey all the best.

We the Malefanes wish you all a Happy New Year and invite you to indulge in some of the exciting activities and commemorations below in enhancing your knowledge and experience.


25 November to 10 December -The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign

The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children Campaign is a United Nations campaign which takes place annually from 25 November (International Day of No Violence against Women) to 10 December (International Human Rights Day).

The theme of 2019 is “Enough is Enough” – 356 days to Gender-Based violence and Femicide (GBVF). Given the scourge of Gender-Based violence in the country, government is implementing the Emergency Response Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide, which was announced by President Cyril in September 2019.

The 16 Days Campaign forms the centre point of government’s comprehensive 365 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. At the end of the campaign on 10 December 2019, government will officially launch the 365 Days Behavioural Change Campaign.

10 December -International Human Rights Day

International Human Rights Day is marked every year on 10 December with activities led by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Day marks the anniversary of the Assembly's adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948.

In South Africa, Human Rights Day is commemorated annually on 21 March to remind South Africans about the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for the attainment of democracy in South Africa. The South African Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

16 December -Day of Reconciliation

The 16th of December is a day of great significance in South Africa because of two historical events that took place on that date. In apartheid South Africa 16 December was known as Day of the Vow, as the Voortrekkers in preparation for the Battle of Blood River on 16 December 1838 against the Zulus took a Vow before God that they would build a church and that they and their descendants would observe the day as a day of thanksgiving should they be granted victory.

The second historical event that took place on 16 December was in 1961, when Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the African National Congress (ANC), was formed. Prior to its formation, the ANC had largely approached the fight against apartheid through passive resistance, but after the Sharpeville Massacre in 1960, where peaceful protestors were indiscriminately shot by police, passive resistance was no longer seen as an effective approach in bringing apartheid to an end. MK mostly performed acts of sabotage, but its effectiveness was hampered by organizational problems and the arrest of its leaders in 1963.

Despite this, its formation was commemorated every year since 1961. With the advent of democracy in South Africa 16 December retained its status as a public holiday. South Africa's first non-racial and democratic government was tasked with promoting reconciliation and national unity. One way in which it aimed to do this symbolically was to acknowledge the significance of the 16 December in both the Afrikaner and liberation struggle traditions and to rename this day as the Day of Reconciliation. On 16 December 1995, the Day of Reconciliation was celebrated as a public holiday in South Africa for the first time.

18 December -International Migrants Day

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 18 December International Migrants Day on 4 December 2000. The International convention on the protection of the rights of all migrant workers and members of their families was adopted on 18 December 1990 (Resolution 45/158).

The Assembly has stressed the need to make further efforts to ensure respect for the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all migrants.

Ambassador P I Malefane
South African Embassy in Ankara, Turkey

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