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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 past three months have been marked by the Nelson Mandela Centenary and many events celebrating this outstanding personality and global icon. The Berlin Mission is proud to have organised or hosted a number of impressive activities: from our own voluntary support of Bahnhofsmission on International Mandela Day, to the highly official launch of a bi-national stamp in honour of Madiba, there have been exhibitions, a concert, panel discussions and a youth soccer tournament. 

To reflect on Nelson Mandela's legacy, we wish to invite you to a high-ranking panel discussion featuring amongst others former Minister of Finances Trevor Manuel. The event is organised in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Federal Foreign Office and will take place on Tuesday, 16 October at 18h00 at FES.

Apart from articles detailing our events and activities, we have again put together news 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:


Reminder: Discussion Forum: "Nelson Mandela’s 100th Birthday - Be the legacy!" 16 October 2018, 18.00, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

This year Nelson Mandela, freedom fighter and the first freely elected President of South Africa, would have been 100 years old. Under the slogan "Be the legacy!" we would like to remember Nelson Mandela, honour his life's work, outline the stages of his life and discuss his legacy for South Africa and the world. In doing so we would also like to look at the current situation in South Africa and what Nelson Mandela's legacy means to today's young people.

Nelson Mandela's 100th Birthday
Be the legacy!
16 October 2018, 18.00 to 21.45
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Building 1,
Conference hall, Hiroshimastraße 17, 10785

Mr Trevor Manuel, former Finance Minister of South Africa 
Ms Cheryl Carolus, former South African High Commissioner in London 
Prof. Herta Däubler-Gmelin, former Federal Minister of Justice 
Mr Joel Netshitenzhe, Director of the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) and former Head of Communication in the Office of President Mandela
Ms Tessa Dooms, Director of Youth Lab, South Africa
Moderator: Mr Claus Stäcker, Head of Africa Programme, Deutsche Welle

Following the panel discussion we cordially invite you to a reception.

The discussion shall be held in English, with simultaneous translation into German.

Please register your commitment to attend this event by 8 October 2018 by email at: fes.afrika(at) 


Berlin Mission Hosts Successful Heritage Day Event

On Friday, 21st September 2018, the South African Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Phumelele Stone Sizani, invited the South African Diaspora and friends for a Boerewors-Braai at the Embassy. Around 120 South Africans from all walks of life joined the Embassy staff in celebrating South Africa's diversity, enjoying the braai by Amandla Foods and the wines by Pieroth and the icecream provided by Florida Eis!

In his speech, Ambassador Sizani emphasized the importance of Heritage Day in remembering and celebrating who we are as a Nation and encouraged South African residents in Germany to continue to be goodwill “ambassadors”, living embodiments of the message of Ubuntu in the communities they resided in, to continue to proudly “fly” the flag of our country, to remember and tell the stories of who we are as a country and as South Africans.

In the year in which South Africa and the world celebrate the Nelson Mandela Centenary, Heritage Day/Month was celebrated under the theme: "Be the Legacy! Remembering our Icons Tata Nelson Mandela and Mama Albertina Sisulu".

Mission Hosts Wine Tasting with Pieroth

In co-operation with Pieroth Deutschland GmbH, formerly Bacchus, H.E. Ambassador Phumelele Stone Sizani invited representatives from the spheres of politics, culture and sports as well as the Ambassadors of the SADC countries to a South African wine tasting by two renowned South African wine estates, Groot Constantia and Meerendal. Ms Steffi Hebbering, sales manager of Pieroth Deutschland GmbH, a wine importer that promotes and sells wines from the two aforementioned wine estates, conducted the presentation of ten wines.

Ambassador Sizani Interview in Diplomatisches Magazin

An extensive interview by H.E. Phumelele Stone Sizani features in the current edition of the Diplomatic Magazin. For decades, South Africa has been inextricably linked to its national hero, Nelson Mandela, who passed away almost five years ago. This year, “Madiba” would have turned 100 years, a Centenary to celebrate. In this interview entitled “South Africa is currently one of the most attractive Emerging Marekts", the South African Ambassador H.E. Phumelele Stone Sizani, who has regularly met “Madiba” during his time as a political prisoner on Robben Island, also talks about the new African Free Trade Agreement, a renewable energy program and South Africa’s research landscape.

|+| read full interview online

Berlin Mission Participates in BMZ Open Day

On 25 August 2018, the South African Embassy hosted a stand at the annual Open House event of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation & Development 2018 (BMZ) in Berlin. In total 16 Embassies showcased their country alongside several non-governmental organisations, associations and initiatives, all this rounded off by a musical programme, film screenings and exhibitions. The event was attended by approximately 5,000 visitors and was the most popular among the German Federal Ministries, which were all hosting an open house event on the last weekend of August.

Launch of the South African-German Joint Commemorative Stamp, 2 August 2018

During a brilliant event attended by almost 1.500 spectators, the joint South African-German commemorative Mandela stamps were officially launched by German Foreign Minister Maas, Finance State Secretary Hagedorn and Ambassador Sizani. Accompanied by stunning and electrifying performances by the acapella band "Just 6" as well as the MIAGI Youth Orchestra, the audience was thrilled by the talent and energy so typical of South Africa!

The Embassy would like to thank our partners the Federal Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Finances, Young Euro Classic, the Peter Krämer Foundation as well as all the individuals and musicians involved in the event!

|+| more info on the Launch Event  
|+| more info on the German Mandela stamp

Mission Hosts Young Euro Classic Press Conference

On 31st July 2018, South Africa's Berlin Mission hosted the official Press Conference of the 19th Young Euro Classic Festival, which in this special Mandela Centenary Year was three days later opened by the outstanding MIAGI Youth Orchestra from South Africa on 3rd August at Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt! The festival is known to create a bridge between Western classical music, new and particularly non-Western interpretations, new and old music instruments from all cultures and continents, and even between classical music and Jazz or dance. In doing so, it contributes to a constructive and critical dialogue between young (and older) people from different cultures! 

Berlin Mission Continues Meetings with Strategic Stakeholders

Both H.E. Ambassador Phumelele S. Sizani as well as Minister-Plenipotentiary Adv. MA Cassimjee have in the past months continued engaging strategic stakeholders in the fields of economy, politics and media. Latest meetings have included Dr S Kreibich, Head for Pan-African Issues, African Union, Southern Africa and the Great Lakes Region and Mr C Kroll, Desk Officer for Southern Africa of the Federal Foreign Office (see Picture), Dr Rüdiger Lotz, Deputy Head of Mission and Head of Economics and Global Issues Department at the German Embassy in Pretoria, Deutsche Welle Berlin correspondent Daniel Pelz or Mr Schüttig of Business & Diplomacy amongst others. 

Ambassador Sizani Opens Mandela100 Concert by Ladysmith Black Mambazo

On 20 July 2018, New Berlin Konzerte in cooperation with FuturAfrik and Piranha Arts hosted a Mandela100 Tribute Concert at Columbia Theater featuring the legendary Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Dear Reader (opener) as well as DJ Floyd Lavine (aftershow party). H.E. Ambassador Phumelele S. Sizani opened the concert with a very personal account of his first meeting(s) with Nelson Mandela. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who just received their fifth Grammy Award, electrified the public from the very first minute of the concert. They performed old and new songs, interacted with the public and danced their world class choreographies in a very inspiring way.

Ambassador Sizani Interview on Radio COSMO on Mandela Day

On Mandela Day, 18 July 2018, Ambassador Sizani gave an in-depth interview on Radio COSMO about Nelson Mandela, the Mandela Centenary, his first personal meeting with Madiba on Robben Island and how South Africa today should honour the memory of this global icon! Radio COSMO, a radio station operated mainly from Cologne and which aims to represent the diversity of the German society through its program, also produced a short clip of the interview.

|+| read more on Facebook

Tagesspiegel Publishes Special Mandela100 Supplement

Following several months of intense preparations, the South African Mission received complimentary copies of the Tagesspiegel Special Supplement on Nelson Mandela which was published on the occasion of his 100th birthday, 18 July 2018. H.E. Ambassador Phumelele S. Sizani, on receiving the copies said: "I extend on behalf of the Government and people of South Africa our heartfelt gratitude to Tagesspiegel for expressing solidarity with us to celebrate the Nelson Mandela Centenary Year." 

Berlin Mission Commits 67 Minutes to Bahnhofsmission on Mandela Day

Now in its 8th year, it has become an irreplaceable tradition for the staff of the South African Embassy in Berlin to participate in charitable initiatives for at least 67 minutes and to honour Nelson Mandela`s memory, his life and struggle for equality and freedom in South Africa that has touched the world. South African Ambassador Phumelele Stone Sizani and his team have lived the spirit of Tata Madiba on 18 July and supported the Bahnhofsmission Zoologischer Garten in Berlin again. Working in shifts from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. the South African staff prepared and served food to people in need.

|+| read more


Minister Sisulu Attends Trilateral Ministerial Commission

South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Lindiwe Sisulu, attended the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Trilateral Ministerial Commission meeting, with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, Mr Aloysio Nunes Ferreira and Minister of External Affairs of India, Ms Sushma Swaraj. The meeting took place on the margins of the General Debate of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on 27 September 2018. Photo: Yandisa Monakali/Dirco News Service.

President Ramaphosa's Opening Remarks at UN Private Sector Forum

On 24 September 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered Keynote Remarks at the United Nations Private Sector Forum: Building & Investing in Peace for All, New York, USA. Convened by Secretary-General António Guterres, the 2018 UN Private Sector Forum provided an important opportunity for business leaders to join key Heads of State and UN Principals at the table for high-level discussions on peace, a major agenda item of the 73rd regular session of the UN General Assembly. Photo: Elmond Jiyane, GCIS.

President Ramaphosa Speaks at UN Mandela Peace Summit

In his speech during the opening session of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit at UN headquarters in New York on 24 September 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa has challenged world leaders to play their part in ensuring that the United Nations is more responsive to global challenges. President Ramaphosa said world leaders could no longer ignore global challenges such as terrorism, transnational organised crime, illicit flows of finance and the growing number of refugees.

“The United Nations can only succeed to the degree that we, as global leaders, provide visionary leadership that transcends our ideological differences and narrow national interest,” he said.

The summit was part of the UN centenary commemoration of Mandela’s birth, and followed the unveiling of a statue donated by South Africa.

|+| Watch the full speech on SABC's Youtube Channel

President Ramaphosa Announces Economic Stimulus and Recovery Plan

On 21 September 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a package of economic reforms and spending plans in an effort to boost South Africa's economy. Ramaphosa said the stimulus and recovery plan would be "implemented immediately". Its goals are to ignite economic activity, restore investor confidence, prevent further job losses and create new jobs.

He also said the plan aims to address "urgent challenges" affecting vulnerable South Africans. Acknowledging that the country had "limited fiscal space to increase spending or borrowing", Ramaphosa said the central element of the stimulus would be a "reprioritization" of spending between government departments.

|+| watch full speech

President Ramaphosa Speaks at Jewish Community New Year's Prayer Session

In an important address, President Ramaphosa stressed the will of his Government to work for an inclusive South African society which will not tolerate any act or statement that seeks to demean any faith, race, gender or ethnic group. In his speech, which was held on the occasion of the Jewish New Year's prayer, Rosh Hashanah, at Gardens Synagogue, Cape Town, he also recognised the role Jewish people played in the struggle and continue to play in public institutions, business and civil society at large.

|+| watch the full ceremony

Stable SA Outlook Helps Rand Gain Ground

The Rand had one of its best days since the latest sell-off in emerging markets started, surging to a two-week high after a rate hike in Turkey fuelled demand for higher-yielding assets and Moody’s Investors Service signalled it is unlikely to downgrade SA’s debt. Moody’s, the last major ratings agency with an investment grade on SA’s debt, saw only a "small chance of a ratings move in the next eight months," Lucie Villa, a senior analyst with the firm’s sovereign risk group, said in Johannesburg on Thursday.

"We think things look fairly stable," Villa said, adding that the economy, which shrank in the first six months, was likely to eke out positive growth for 2018 as a whole, even if it would be relatively weak at less than 1%.

|+| read full article in Business Day

President Cyril Ramaphosa on the Land Reform - Financial Times

In this article titled "This is no land grab" and first published in London's Financial Times, President Cyril Ramaphosa explains how land expropriation without compensation will work! The proposal on expropriation without compensation, the President clearly states, "is one element of a broader programme of land reform that seeks to ensure that all citizens can have their land rights recognised, whether they live in communal areas, informal settlements or on commercial farms."

|+| read article 

South Africa's Women's Day - Department Holds Dialogue on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality and Fourth Annual Gertrude Shope Forum

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Lindiwe Sisulu, on 6 August 2018, hosted the female staff of the department during a Dialogue on Women Empowerment and Gender Equality, in Celebration of Women’s Month. On 1 August 2018, DIRCO had already hosted the Fourth Annual Gertrude Shope Annual Dialogue Forum on Conflict Resolution and Peace-making in Pretoria under the title: “Celebrating a Legacy of Liberation by the Pan-African Women: Taking Forward the Struggle for Gender Equality”, an event that also coincided with the Pan-African Women’s High-Level Panel on the Revitalisation of the Pan-African Women’s Organisation and which included gender activists from South Africa, Africa and the world. 

|+| read more on Facebook

Obituary: Passing of Late Minister Edna Molewa

Late Minister Edna Molewa, who passed on 22 September 2018 aged 61 after a short illness, has been hailed as gallant freedom fighter! “Molewa was an outstanding servant of our people. She possessed extraordinary skills as an organiser, a thinker, strategist and leader… grounded in the plight and aspirations of our people,” Deputy President Mabuza said. Speaking at the Heritage Day celebration event in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal, Deputy President Mabuza said the late Minister Molewa was an internationalist and exceptional environmental activist. “She understood that nature conservation was equally about the preservation of our heritage. We express our heartfelt condolences to her family, friends, Cabinet colleagues and her political home, the African National Congress.

“Her fighting spirit will remain our guiding force. May her revolutionary and caring soul rest in eternal peace,” Mabuza said.


Exhibition by Candice Breitz: Sex Work, 21 Sept. 2018 - 5 January 2019 at Frieder Burda Museum, Berlin

Since it erupted into mainstream discourse, the #MeToo movement has sought to analyse and expose the systemic nature of gender-based violence, giving rise to one of the most urgent and charged debates of our times. In seeking to map the dynamics of gender and power that determine relationships in the workplace (and in the world at large), the movement has arguably focused a disproportionate amount of attention on incidents of harassment and abuse reported by privileged and/or media-favoured individuals. Though the video works presented in Candice Breitz: Sex Work were shot shortly before #MeToo went mainstream in October 2017, they resonate poignantly within the debate, re-focusing questions that are central to the movement in order to address the rampant gender-based violence that sex workers contend with on the job and beyond.

As a whole, the exhibition spans a discursive arc from the work of American artist William N. Copley (1919-1996), a renowned outsider figure of the twentieth century, to the work of Berlin-based South African artist Candice Breitz (born 1972), a leading contemporary voice. In the works included in the exhibition, both artists vehemently contest the stigmatisation of sex work, albeit from radically different perspectives.

|+| read more

Robyn Orlin's Puppet Theater to Premier in Halle: "Save the Pedestals!", Various Dates, Puppentheater Dock 2, Halle

Based on the heitherto unpublished narrative by Ivan Vladislavić, Berlin based South African choreographer and director Robyn Orlin in cooperation with the world-renowned Capetonian Handspring Puppet Company and the Baxter Theatre Centre premieres a piece about the half-life and the disappearance of historial monuments, as two over-size Puppets (Comrade A and Ma Z) wander through Johannesburg telling each other their recent dreams. The piece is a poetic-political discourse which encompasses both the fall of Saddam Hussein's and South African monuments as well as the inflation of Lenin monuments and which, using an aphorism by Stanislaw Lec seems to tell us: "When destroying monuments, save the pedestals. The are always needed." Foto: Falk Wenzel

|+| more info

The Parlotones Germany Tour 2018

The Parlotones, South Africa's most successful rock band to date, with over 600.000 sold albums worldwide, are celebrating their 20th anniversary with a new album release and an extensive European tour which also brings them to various German cities and also to Berlin: On 30 October 2018 they will be at Bi Nuu. Their early sound was rooted in Brit Rock, but eventually grew to incorporate a wider spectrum of musical genres. The lyrics focus on personal themes, of love and everyday life, paired with catchy melodies that engage their audience. Don't miss them on their Germany tour in October and November 2018!

|+| read more & tour dates

Reading of Mandela's "Letters from Prison" in Berlin, 11 Nov. 2018, 11h30, Renaissance Theater

The publishing house C.H. Beck is organising a reading of the newly translated and published book "Nelson Mandela - Letters from Prison"! The reading features Nora Bossong, Ulf Buermeyer, Eva Menasse, Jan Wagner and Mark Waschke and will happen on the 11 November 2018 at the Berlin Renaissance Theater. The income from the event will be donated to the PEN "Writers in Prison Programme".

|+| more info & tickets

AFRIKAMERA: Five Fingers for Marseille, 17 November, Kino Arsenal

A Western-style movie from South Africa subtly tells the story of the country's colonial past: Twenty years ago, the young 'Five Fingers' fought for the rural town of Marseilles, against brutal police oppression. Now, after fleeing in disgrace, 'outlaw' Tau returns, seeking only peace. Finding the town under new threat, he must reluctantly fight to free it. Will the Five Fingers stand again? Director Michael Matthews co-founded Be Phat Motel Film Company in 2007 with the aim to develop and produce progressive cinema. FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES, which premiered at TIFF 2017, is Michael's feature directorial debut. APOCALYPSE NOW NOW, dark, twisted fantasy set in Cape Town, is in development as Michaels second feature film.

|+| read more


South African Embassy in Berlin Closes Fridays at 13h30

Please note that since 1 July 2018 the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Berlin is closing at 13h30 on Fridays. The opening hours of the Consular Services (Visa & South African Documents) are not affected by this - please |+| click here to download the opening hours.

South African Citizens Register

Please help the South African Mission keep track of South African citizens currently residing in Germany. By voluntarily registering, you do assist the mission to determine the number of citizens living in the country and to be able to contact you and your family in South Africa in the event of an evacuation, natural disaster, family emergency etc. Furthermore, your contact details (which will be handled in a strictly confidential way) enable the Embassy to provide you with information related to Embassy events, registration for general election, etc. |+| go to register form


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

The Newsletter will be sent out each month and we invite you to share with us your comments and to also inform us if your city or community is organising an event that features South Africa, in any way. Please send us an email on webmaster(at) and please visit our website: 

South African Citizen Register

Brand South Africa

Get easy and quick information about South Africa or deepen and extend your knowledge about our country on the BrandSA website. |+| read more

Play Your Part

Play Your Part is a national initiative that encourages all South Africans to contribute to positive change. There are numerous opportunities, big and small, for each and every South African. |+| get involved

Ubuntu Radio

Ubuntu Radio

Ubuntu Radio

Listen live to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa (DIRCO) 24-hour online radio station aimed at enhancing communication on South Africa’s foreign policy. |+| listen live

Ubuntu Magazine

Ubuntu Magazine

Read the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO)'s quarterly magazine Ubuntu – South Africa’s Public Diplomacy in action which communicates with and educates stakeholders on South Africa’s foreign policy positions, achievements, objectives and goals. |+| read online

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