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Newsletter of the South African Embassy in Berlin

Foreword by H.E. Ambassador Phumelele Stone Sizani

Dear readers, friends of South Africa,

The first three months of the year have been a very busy time at the Embassy. Not only did the Embassy and the Consulate-General jointly hold their annual strategic planning session and hosted South African delegations to Berlinale and the International Tourism Bourse (ITB), February also saw the installation of a new President of the Republic of South Africa, H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa.

2018 bears very special significance for not only South Africa, but indeed for the entire world, since this year on 18 July, former president, the late Mr Nelson Mandela, Tata Madiba, as he is affectionately called in South Africa, would have celebrated his 100th birthday. South Africa is honoured by the tremendous outpouring of goodwill demonstrated by the German Government and carried in the hearts of German people for Tata Madiba. The South African Government together with the German Government and the South African representations in Germany will jointly embark on a number of activities and events to honour the life and legacy of this global icon. 

From a bilateral perspective, 2018 will also mark the 10th session of the Bi-National Commission between South Africa and our strategic and valued partner, Germany.

In this edition of the newsletter, we have put together news and activities concerning the above mentioned topics, involving South Africans in Germany, as well as selected news from South Africa that we deem relevant for our audience here in Germany. 

I hope you enjoy the read!

With warmest regards

Ambassador Stone Sizani
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of South Africa to the Federal Republic of Germany

(Picture Credit:


Meet South Africa's New President: H.E. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa's newly elected President Cyril Ramaphosa has an illustrious career which has seen him working in the private sector, the labour movement and he was among the writers of South Africa's new democratic Constitution. 

President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa was born on 17 November 1952 in Johannesburg. His family was moved from Western Native Township to Soweto in 1962, where he attended Tshilidzi Primary School. He completed his high school at Mphaphuli High School in Sibasa, Venda in 1971.

He began his studies at the University of the North in 1972, where he became involved in student politics, joining the South African Student Organisation (SASO) and the Black People’s Convention (BPC). 

|+| read full profile

"A New Dawn is Upon Us" - President Ramaphosa's First SONA

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his maiden State of the Nation Address on the 16 February 2018 in the National Assembly, a speech that was expected to focus on pulling the nation together. The SONA is one of the central political speeches, reflecting very concretely on the past achievements and setting the stage for the year to come. In this case, the much awaited speech set the scene for President Ramaphosa's whole presidencial term and was greeted nationally and internationally with much enthusiasm.

|+| watch the full speech

Worldwide Tributes to Hugh Masekela

On 23 January 2018, South Africa woke up to a very sad news - Bra Hugh, as he was affectionately called had passed on in the early morning. Hugh Masekela was one of the still living musical legends of South Africa, particularly famous for his well-known anti-apartheid songs such as "Soweto Blues" and "Bring Him Back Home". The whole day and weeks following this sad event, million tributes came pouring in from every part of the world, recognising Bra Hugh as the great musician and activist he has been. Concluding his SONA speech, President Ramaphosa quoted Masekela's song "Thuma Mina" to standing ovation in Parliament.

|+| watch a tribute concert to Hugh Masekela

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Win 5th Grammy Award

For over 50 years, South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo has warmed the hearts of audiences worldwide with their uplifting vocal harmonies, signature dance moves and charming onstage banter. On Sunday, 28 January the group won its fifth Grammy in the category of Best World Music Album for their album "Shaka Zulu Revisited: 30th Anniversary Celebration".

The group was nominated in two categories: The Best World Music Album as well as in the Best Childrens Album category for "Songs Of Peace & Love For Kids & Parents Around The World".

In total, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has been nominated for 19 Grammy Awards. 


Mission and South African Tourism (SAT) Host South African ITB Exhbitors

On the eve of the ITB Phumelele Stone Sizani, Ambassador of the Republic of South African in Germany, welcomed Siza Ntshona, Chief Executive Officer of South African Tourism (SAT), as well as all 85 South African exhibitors in the presence of Advocate MA Cassimjee, Minister Plenipotentiary, George Monyemangene, Consul General, Theresa Bay-Müller, Head Central Europe Hub of SAT as well as TV star Motsi Mabuse, to the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Berlin. Ambassador Sizani reflected on South Africa’s potential and beauty. Many a visitor has been attracted to the South African hospitality and diversity of its warm-hearted people, culture, arts and crafts, history, wine, culinary art, adventure activities as well as its beautiful landscape and wildlife.

|+| read full article

Mission Hosts Strategic Planning Meeting

On 23 February 2018, the South African Embassy in Berlin together with the Munich based Consulate-General hosted its annual Strategic Planning Session to finalise its Annual Performance Plan for the 2018/19 financial year. The Mission was honoured by the attendance and participation of South African and German partners like the Federal Foreign Office, Afrika Verein, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, BrandSA, South African Airways and Standard Bank. The meeting is regularly held to coordinate South Africa related activities amongst the main stakeholders and partners.

South African Mission Holds its Armed Forces Day

On 21 Feb 18, the South African Embassy in Berlin hosted its Armed Forces Day function to honor the South African National Defence Force. Armed Forces Day is celebrated on 21 Feb each year as the nation remembers the day when the SS MENDI sank in the English Channel during WWI.

The function was opened by the Defence Attaché accredited to Germany, Capt (SAN) N.J. Fillis. His Excellency Ambassador Stone Sizani gave the key-note address. He commended the SANDF on their fantastic job in balancing its dual responsibilities of being ready to defend the country and its territorial integrity whilst at the same time increasingly getting involved in peace support and post-conflict reconstruction operations. He provided the guests with detailed information on the SANDF’s current operations and missions and concluded his speech with an outlook on future priorities.

The 80 guests from the Defence Attaché Corps, defence industry, the German MoD as well as embassy staff used the opportunity to liaise with colleagues, friends and stakeholders while enjoying traditional South African cuisine and the warm hospitality the country is famous for.

SA Mission and DTI Host Berlinale Reception

As every year the South African Department of Trade and Industry in support of an increasingly important film industry not only sponsored a South Africa Stand at the Berlinale European Film and invited a female only group of young and upcoming film professionals (Sisters Woriking in Film and Television - SWIFT) to attend the festival. The dti together with the Berlin Mission also co-hosted a networking event at the Embassy, which was well attended and allowed the participants to meet, discuss and elaborate on new project ideas. 

This year's official film programme only featured one film from South Africa (High Fantasy, see below), but saw South African director and academic Jyoti Mistry being selected as one of the jury members for the Berlinale Short Film Section!

SA Showcases Produce at Trade Fair in Germany - Fruitlogistica

South Africa’s again showcased its local produce at the Fruit Logistical Trade Fair in Berlin from 7 to 9 February. Having received financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry (dti), 25 South African companies were invited to present their products and services at the fair in Berlin, thereby exposing their produce to international export markets.

Fruitlogistica covers every sector of the international fruit and vegetable supply chain from production, distribution and marketing, through to the point of sale, including global players as well as small and medium-sized suppliers from all around the world.

Ambassador Sizani Meets President of University of Potsdam

Ambassador Sizani and Minister-Plenipotentiary Cassimjee met with Prof. Oliver Günther, Ph.D. President of the University of Potsdam at the Embassy to discuss cooperation possibilities between South African universities and Potsdam University. Potsdam University already has four ongoing partnerships with South African universities (North-West University, Potchefstroom, University of Cape Town (Cape Town), University of Pretoria and Stellenbosch University) and has established Sub-Saharan Africa as one of its priority regions for the upcoming years. Since 2013, the President’s office is financially supporting scholarly collaboration with African universities and institutions within the KoUP cooperation framework (former Mini Grants). 


Maureen Quin's "The Hunt" To Be Exhibited at Dominikanerkloster Prenzlau

Internationally renowned South African sculptor Maureen Quin, whose exhibition "The Hunt" has already been exhibited in various German and European cities, has been invited by the Kulturhistorisches Museum to exhibit at Dominikanerkloster Prenzlau (Brandenburg) from 24 March to 29 April 2018. Facilitated by Mr Reimann of Rainbow Agency, the vernissage, which will be attended by the artist, the South African Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Phumelele S. Sizani as well as Dr. Ulrike Gutheil, Secretary of State Ministry of Science, Research and Culture of the Federal State of Brandenburg and Mayor of Prenzlau Hendrik Sommer. The Opening of the exhibition will take place on the 24 March at 15h00 at the Klostergalerie im Waschhaus.

|+| read more

Berlinale Generation 14plus: South Africa's "High Fantasy" premieres at Berlinale

South African comedy "High Fantasy" by Jenna Bass was the only South African production in the official Berlinale Programme this year, screening in the "Generation 14Plus" section. An innocuous idea, since you can assume it would never actually happen: finding yourself in someone else’s body. Yet that is exactly what befalls Lexi and her friends during a camping trip. The shock is immense, especially given the friction that had already existed before the inexplicable event: not only between the three young women and Thami, the only man – but also between Lexi, who is white, and Xoli, who is black. Under the body swapping spell, conflicts erupt that are symptomatic of social upheaval in the South African rainbow nation. Captured with the protagonists’ smartphones, what unfolds is a shrewd and cutting essay on the politics of the body, decades after the end of apartheid. (Picture: © Gabriella Achadinha)

|+| read more


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A covering application letter in English accompanied by a detailed CV, also in English, as well as certified, translated copies of qualifications should be sent strictly by post for the attention of the Corporate Services Manager, South African Consulate-General. 

The closing date for receipt of applications is 22 March 2018, applications received after the abovementioned date will not be considered.

|+| read the full Advertisement

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The Newsletter of the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa features Embassy activities and other South African events in Germany.

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