His Excellency President Jacob Zuma during the State Visit of H.E. President Macky Sall of the Republic of Senegal

President Jacob Zuma

Cape Town

Your Excellency, President Macky Sall, 

Honourable Ministers,

Your Excellencies, our two Ambassadors,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Members of the Media,

Good morning to you all! 

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you, Mr President, and your esteemed delegation on the occasion of your historic state visit to South Africa.  I also wish to thank you for honouring our invitation to visit our country.

Allow me, Mr President, to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you and your Government for hosting the Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the 1987 Dakar Talks from 10 to 14 July 2017.

Mr President, the seminal Dakar Talks manifested a clear testament of solidarity and friendship that exists between South Africa and Senegal. 

The solidarity we speak of was a determination by many countries on the Continent, including Senegal, to lend a hand in the fight against colonialism and the racist Apartheid government.

We consider Senegal’s role in hosting the Dakar Talks between a group of white South Africans and the leadership of our glorious movement, the African National Congress, a significant contribution to South Africa’s democratisation process.

Ladies and gentlemen,

It was not an easy decision for the ANC to meet the Group because at the time the Apartheid Government had not shown any believable signs of willingness to talk. So, there was a lot of apprehension on both sides. 

The ever-wise President of the ANC at the time, OR Tambo sanctioned the meeting nonetheless. 

Mr President,

We meet here today three days before the centenary birthday of Oliver Reginald Tambo. If he was still with us, OR would be turning one hundred years on 27 October.

Mr President, our Government has correctly dedicated the whole of 2017 to the commemoration and celebration of the life of this great giant. 

It is thus befitting that we dedicate your state visit, Mr President to the celebration of the life and legacy of OR Tambo. 

We believe that our countries’ strong ties of solidarity and friendship demand of us to honour you, Mr President. 

Our two countries share similar values of democracy, freedom, rule of law and fundamental human rights.

We thus not only need to enhance cooperation on bilateral issues but we also need to strengthen our collaboration on the issues of peace and security; economic development and good governance on the Continent. 

We need to pay a particular focus on resolving the ongoing peace and security crises on the Continent. 

This demands that we work together more than before to share expertise and information. 

Let me conclude by reiterating our call for the reform of multilateral institutions, including the United Nations Security Council, so that they better represent the interests of the developing world and the entire global system. 

Once again, Mr President, welcome to South Africa, and I look forward to our fruitful deliberations. 

I thank you!