Anadolu Agency Interview on 31 March 2017

"South African Ambassador is the diplomat scorer of the football fields"


The Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa Malefane, fulfil his longing of football by the football matches held in the capital with diplomats. He said that he is going to local team’s games and matches and playing football in his free time. In Ankara once a week he meets with diplomats from different countries to play football.

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Ambassador Malefane told AA correspondent his Ankara impressions, how he spends his free time and his intensive diplomatic agenda. Malefane indicated that he is assigned as Ambassador to Ankara, Turkey in the month of February 2016. He said that after arriving in the country all his wrong impression is changed after seeing the environment.

Malefane told that "I saw that Turkey was a friendly country and a very exciting place to live in. When I came to Turkey I met with a warm environment. Welcoming strangers, living in peace and harmony”.

Malefane indicated that both Turkey and South Africa has rich history and cultural heritage, and the diplomatic relations between the two countries dates back to the beginning of the Ottoman period.

Malefane said that the vast majority of South Africans are students who are educated in Turkey. There were about 120 South African students in Ankara and Istanbul.

Ambassador Malefane stated that he plays squash with his wife and taking their children to sports activities on the weekends. He also plays football and golf when he finds spare time from the intensive diplomatic traffic of the capital.

Malefane emphasized that he loves to play football, and watch the games of the local teams in Ankara and in his free time he is also playing soccer. "I get pleasure from Turkish football. I'm taking my time to go to the games of Osmanlispor and Gençlerbirligi in Ankara. I'm going to matches of Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in Istanbul". Malefane also reminded that South African player Tokelo Rantie is playing in Genclerbirligispor.

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The South African Ambassador said that he had the opportunity to visit many cities of Turkey like Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Adana, Mersin, Bursa, Konya, and Çanakkale. Thus he had the chance to have more information on Turkey's history and people.

Ambassador said that in Turkey he feels the experience of Asia and Europe and when he compared the cuisine of his previous assigned country, the Turkish cuisine is lighter." It was easy to get used to Turkish food. Especially kokorec I love so much" he said.

Referring to the unforgettable Nelson Mandela, statesman of the Republic of South Africa, Ambassador Malefane said that Mandela is a symbol of peace and a source of inspiration for the whole world, not only for South Africa.

Mandela taughts us that we need to embrace different opinions and ideas of each other's differences. He said that Mandela inspired to teach us that we cannot be successful if we work against each other.

Interview By Zuhal Demirci:

Photos By Evrim Aydın :

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