Minister Nathi Mthethwa strengthens ties with his Zambian counterpart

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06 Feb 2017

Pretoria - Arts and Culture Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa, has departed for Zambia where he will be paying a working visit and meeting his Zambian counterpart, Minister of Tourism and Arts, Mr Charles Banda.

This visit is intended to strengthen cultural relations with Zambia with a view to concluding discussions on bilateral cultural relations between the two countries.

Relations between South Africa and Zambia were concretised during the liberation struggle when Zambia supported freedom fighters from South Africa. Formal relations were established in 1992 at the level of Representative Offices and later upgraded to full diplomatic missions in 1994. These relations between the two countries were further enhanced during reciprocal State Visits in 2009 by President Zuma to Zambia, and in 2010 by former President Rupiah Banda to South Africa. 

The two countries also have strong cultural relations and also regional cultural cooperation.

Minister Mthethwa’s visit consists of a two-day programme of activities from 6-7 February that will include the finalisation of the contents of a cultural agreement.

The visit will also strengthen co-operation on liberation heritage as part of work on the Liberation Heritage Route which seeks to identify and recognise sites of historical significance in bringing freedom to South Africa.

As South Africa marks the centenary of the birth of the great revolutionary leader, ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo, the OR Tambo Centenary programme will also come under discussion. Minister Mthethwa will visit the Oliver Tambo House in Chelstone and other landmarks of the liberation movement in exile.

Minister Mthethwa will pay a visit to former Zambian President and a great Pan-Africanist, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, and visit Chilenje House 394 from where former President Kaunda directed the struggle for Zambia’s independence.

The delegation will visit Embassy Park for a wreath laying ceremony at the graves of late Presidents Michael Sata, Levy Mwanawasa and Frederick Chiluba.

Minister Mthethwa will also visit the Leopards Hill gravesite to pay respects at the grave of the late barrister, activist and freedom fighter, Duma Nokwe. Nokwe was the first African advocate of the Supreme Court of Transvaal and his political commitment in conscientising and mobilising people against apartheid led to harassment and imprisonment by the apartheid government. He was later forced into exile where he continued the struggle through diplomacy and later died in Lusaka in 1978.

The visit is also intended to strengthen collaboration on the Africa Month programme of activities that takes place in the month of May commemorating the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), celebrating African identity and culture and the building of a better Africa in a better world.

For more info: Lisa Combrinck at: LisaCo@dac.gov.za

Tel: 082 821 4886