OPENING REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR PULE I MALEFANE TO THE PARTICIPANTS AT THE MEDIA BREAKFAST
27 APRIL 2017, GREEN PARK HOTEL, ANKARA
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you here today, on South Africa’s 23rd year of independence from the Apartheid regime. The occasion marks the first democratic elections first held in 1994, heralding in an era of freedom and dignity for all South Africans. I am also pleased that a representative of Ekurhuleni’s Municipality is able to attend on behalf of the Mayor who has returned to South Africa for official duties.
Freedom and dignity is fundamental to all people as human beings. As South Africa has had it struggles in the past, and continues to work towards providing this freedom and dignity for its people, including by addressing the many past injustices and poverty, we have seen Turkey undertaking the same struggle in its fight against terrorism and the attacks on its people and territory.
The failed coup d’etat of July 15 demonstrated very clearly that the Turkish people will defend their right to freedom and dignity. In democratic countries, there are processes in place which are agreed under the Constitutions of those countries, and changes in power should follow those processes to ensure the peaceful transition of power, the freedom of choice and the dignity of all citizens. The same can be said of the recently held Referendum on Turkey’s governance and administration. The process in place needs to be followed and accepted in order for any country to move forward in freedom, peace and dignity.
South Africa’s Freedom Month is celebrated world-wide. In Turkey we have planned a number of events, which commenced with the visit of the Mayor of Ekurhuleni and a business delegation to Bursa from 24-25 April. A Letter of Intent was signed between Ekurhuleni and Bursa to strengthen relations between the two municipalities. An economic seminar and site visits to the industrial zone in Bursa also formed part of the programme.
In Ankara the South African Embassy hosted the first-ever South Africa-Turkey Golf Tournament at the Ankara Golf Club on 26 April. Players from both South Africa and Turkey participated with prizes which included invitations to participate in the BMW Pro-Am Tournament in South Africa. Our thanks goes to our sponsors and the Ankara Golf Club for a successful event.
An economic seminar with B2B meetings will take place later today and the Freedom Month celebration will end with a reception held in the evening. A South African band will showcase a part of South Africa’s multi-faceted and diverse culture.
I once again extend my thanks to you for giving me the opportunity to engage with you. I look forward to our discussion.
Thank you for your comments and questions which I hope we have answered satisfactorily. Having your presence on an occasion such as this provides us with valuable insights into Turkish society which we may not necessarily be able to reach.
Let me once again take this opportunity to thank you for your presence and participation and I look forward to our next engagement.