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South Africa House mourns the loss of Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza

News of the passing of Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza, who was the South African High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from 2001 to 2010, has been greeted with great sadness by all at South Africa House.

Family spokespersons, Mavuso Msimang and Lindiwe Sangweni-Siddo, announced yesterday afternoon that Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza had “passed away peacefully this afternoon, Monday 06 December 2021, in the loving company of her family.”

We extend our deepest condolences to her family, and to her numerous friends and colleagues in South Africa, the UK, and around the world. She will be fondly remembered and deeply missed.

Dr Lindiwe Mabuza was appointed High Commissioner to the UK by President Thabo Mbeki in 2001, having already served as Ambassador to Germany and to Malaysia and The Philippines, and prior to that as an MP in President Nelson Mandela’s first government in 1994. Her diplomatic career began in 1979, when Oliver Tambo appointed her as the ANC’s representative to Scandinavia, where she survived a bomb attack on the ANC offices in Stockholm, before being transferred to the USA where she opened an ANC office in Washington DC.  Long before coming to the UK, Ambassador Mabuza had established a reputation as a distinguished and formidable diplomat whose passion for her country, its people, culture and economic transformation, shone brightly.

During her double tenure as South African High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador Mabuza was responsible for many notable achievements, too numerous to list comprehensively, but some prominent highlights include the Solidarity Conference in 2003, which brought together 1,300 delegates and a third of the then South African cabinet over a weekend at the QEII Conference Centre in Westminster, to account for the new South African Government’s first decade in office, and to look forward to the decade ahead.

2004 marked the 10th Anniversary of the first democratic elections in South Africa, during which Ambassador Mabuza organised numerous events around the UK with various stakeholders, including a special commemorative service at St Paul’s Cathedral addressed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the “Unity Gala” – a concert featuring the London Symphony Orchestra and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra held at the Barbican in November 2004.

Freedom Day itself was marked with a concert in Trafalgar Square, organised with the then Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone.

In August 2004, Ambassador Mabuza arranged with the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Lesley Hinds, to take a massive South African contingent to a special Edinburgh Festival event in Princess Street Gardens, called “South Africa in the Gardens” . This featured the South African Navy Band, the Soweto Gospel Choir, and headlined South African jazz musicians Caiphus Semenya and Letta Mbulu.

Several other major conferences followed, including the South African Sports and Investment Conference held at Chelsea Football Club in April 2006, and the African Union-Caribbean Diaspora Conference held in London in April 2007.

Ambassador Mabuza was the driving force behind the 2007 publishing of “Oliver Tambo Remembered”, a compilation of recollections of the late Oliver Reginald Tambo by prominent public figures who engaged with him internationally. She worked with Haringey Council to unveil a bust and memorial garden dedicated to Oliver Tambo, close to his former residence in Muswell Hill, where his family lived in exile and where our current High Commissioner, Ms Nomatemba Tambo, was raised as a child.

In the same year, she also worked with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to give proper recognition to the 650 sailors and members of the South African Native Labour Corps who perished on the SS Mendi when it went down off the coast of the Isle of Wight in 1917.

In 2008, Ambassador Mabuza was deeply saddened by the passing of Mike Terry, a close personal friend and former Secretary General of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in the UK, who had helped her with numerous projects up to that point in time. To honour his memory and acknowledge his enormous contribution to South Africa, she organised a memorial for him at South Africa House, attended by 300 people along with members of his family, dignitaries, friends and colleagues dating back to his student years.

Also in 2008, she hosted a dinner at South Africa House in honour of President Thabo and Mrs Zanele Mbeki.

Throughout her tenure, Ambassador Mabuza supported many charities, often making South Africa House available for free for them to host events, dinners and exhibitions. She was an ardent supporter of the Phelophepa Health Train, for which she helped to organise annual fundraising gala dinners. She loved Ardmore Ceramics, maintaining a healthy personal collection, and enthusiastically supported Action for Southern Africa, Community HEART, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, and many other charities benefiting South Africa.

Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza was also a prolific author and poet, publishing many books and anthologies of both her own work, and compilations like Oliver Tambo Remembered, to preserve an historic record of people she greatly admired for future generations. She also hosted a large number of book launches at South Africa House, including, amongst others, The State vsNelson Mandela: The Trial that Changed South Africa by Joel Joffe, and The Mission: A Life for Freedom in South Africa by Denis Goldberg.

She was passionate about culture in all forms, but especially music, and she regularly organised concerts featuring South African artists living in or visiting London. She assisted Pumeza Matshikiza and the late Siphiwo Ntshebe by helping to arrange scholarships for them at the Royal College of Music in London.

Finally, in 2010 her tenure came to an end, leaving many fond memories and a much expanded circle of friends, not just for herself, but for the country she represented so capably and enthusiastically.

In 2014, she was awarded the national Order of Ikhamanga for her contribution to the arts.

Ambassador Mabuza returned to the UK a few times after her retirement from diplomatic service, most recently in June 2019 to launch her new book, “Conversations with Uncle OR Tambo” and again in October 2019 to attend the unveiling of a statue of Oliver Tambo at the Albert Road Recreational Park, which has since been renamed the Oliver Tambo Recreational Ground.

Former President Thabo Mbeki paid tribute to her today, saying “Amb. Mabuza was a self-effacing, guileless, and humane person, who served our country and its people with distinction for well over half-a-century in various capacities during both the struggle for our liberation and the democratic dispensation. Following our country’s liberation in 1994, she was among the first women who were tasked to represent our country as Ambassadors.” 

Current High Commissioner Ms Nomatemba Tambo said today;

“Life is so strange.

My father said it was a circle that always returned you to a part of your past. That’s what happened to us.

Aunt Lindiwe would often send for me when she was the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. When I would ask her why, she would say it was because she loved me and needed to be in my company from time to time. I think she was prophetic and was giving me a glimpse into what to expect in my future.

She was forever busy, strategizing, innovating, bending procrastinators to her charm and vibrancy.

Aunt Lindiwe was a bit of a task master and workaholic.  Good.  She achieved the most spectacular results in her work, wherever she was posted, but for me I saw it in London.

She had the gift of bringing people together. She had the gift of polishing rough diamonds until they themselves knew how brightly they shone. People loved her, as did I. Very much.

Her smile was irresistible. Loyalty was something she treasured in others and stood by steadfastly herself. 

Aunt Lindiwe will be greatly missed. We all say that about those we know who have passed on and they are, but for me, I feel as if the air we breathe is a little heavier.

Who would have thought that 10 years after her post in the United Kingdom ended, that she would be visiting me here, doing her old job. As always she was generous, kind, joyful. A delight. I will miss the way her face would light up when she saw you and she would sing out your name like a hymn.

Aunt Lindiwe, the mould has been broken.”

2021-12-08T01:23:15+00:007 December 2021|News|

SERVICES AT 15 WHITEHALL (HOME AFFAIRS)

Services at 15 Whitehall (Home affairs) are now rendered strictly by appointment.

In order to minimize the number of people visiting our office, and to keep everyone safe, we encourage postal applications where possible, especially for child passport applications and birth registration.

Please follow the steps below:

Step No 1:

Download guidelines and application forms using this link.

You will provided with DHA 9  to complete at the office during your appointment

Step No 2:

Complete all forms received and prepare your supporting documents per guidelines.

Step No 3:

Send your request for an appointment at: Civic.appointments@dirco.gov.za. The request must include:

Full names and ID number of the applicant as well as the type of Service required.

POSTAL APPLICATIONS

Step No 1:

Download guidelines and application forms using this link.

Request additional application forms (forms with unique bar code) by sending an A4 Self -addressed pre- paid (1st class Large stamp) envelope (per applicant) with a note stating the forms required and the age of the applicant.

NB: Royal Mail: If the postage stamp on the envelope is insufficient or the envelope is the wrong size, the forms will NOT be mailed to you.

Step No 2:

Fully complete all forms received and prepare your supporting documents per guidelines received.

Post your application forms and requirements to:

South African High Commission
15 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2DD

Website: www.southafricahouse.uk

PASSPORT COLLECTION

Passport collections are strictly from 1400 to 1500 hours Monday to Friday, except on Public holidays. No other services will be rendered during the time allocated for passport collections.

No application forms will be handed out during collection.

2021-04-03T07:02:11+01:0019 March 2021|Home Affairs|

Virtual event to unveil the new signage at O. R. Tambo Recreation Ground

Haringey Council agreed to rename Albert Road Recreation Ground O. R. Tambo Recreation Ground to highlight Oliver Tambo’s legacy in the borough and worldwide.

The event was live-streamed out via Facebook.

Watch below:

2021-03-19T15:00:40+00:0019 March 2021|News|

President Cyril Ramaphosa mourns passing of King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu

President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Isilo Samabandla, King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu.

His Majesty passed away in hospital on the 12th of March 2021.

“This sad news come at a time when we had all been hopeful that His Majesty was recovering well in hospital where he had been over the past few weeks,” the President said.

The President  has offered his sympathies and prayers to the Royal Family, to the Zulu nation, and to the people of KwaZulu-Natal and beyond – for whom the Ingonyama was an important symbol of history, culture and heritage.

“His Majesty will be remembered as a much-loved, visionary monarch who made an important contribution to cultural identity, national unity and economic development in KwaZulu-Natal and through this, to the development of our country as a whole.”

Media enquiries: Tyrone Seale,

Acting Spokesperson to the President

Issued by: The Presidency
Pretoria

https://www.gcis.gov.za/newsroom/media-releases/president-cyril-ramaphosa-mourns-passing-king-goodwill-zwelithini

Further information may also be found here.

 

2021-04-03T07:03:41+01:0012 March 2021|News|

Proudly South African Buy Local Summit & Expo

2021-03-19T15:31:48+00:0010 March 2021|News|

SONA Speech

On Thursday, 11 February 2021, HE President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered his State of the Nation Address.

A copy of his speech can be downloaded below:

2021-03-19T15:33:47+00:0011 February 2021|News|

Announcement – Minor children on a foreign passport

2021-04-03T06:53:00+01:0013 November 2020|Home Affairs|

UPDATE

Services at Whitehall remain suspended until the UK government has eased or lifted restrictions in England. Postal applications are currently NOT being accepted.
Latest News
Alert level 1 (South Africa)

Re-opening of borders (As updated from Gazette 43897 of 11 November 2020)

Gazetted regulations

The 18 land borders which were partially operational, will be fully operational, and the 34 land borders which were closed, will remain closed.

Traveling to and from the Republic is allowed, subject to sub regulations (3).

All international travel will resume subject to-
(a) the traveller providing a valid certificate of a negative test which was obtained not more than 72 hours before the date of travel; and
(b) in the event of the traveller’s failure to submit a certificate as proof of a negative test, the traveller will be required to quarantine him or herself at his or her own costs.

International air travel is restricted to the following airports-
(a) OR Tambo International Airport;
(b) King Shaka International Airport; and
(c) Cape Town International Airport.

Daily commuters from neighbouring countries who attend or teach at a school in the Republic, and who are allowed entry into and exit from the Republic, subject to compliance with protocols relating to-
(a) screening for COVID-19 and quarantine or isolation, where necessary;
(b) the wearing of a face mask;
(c) transportation; and
(d) sanitisation and social distancing measures as per the relevant health protocols on safety and prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

All commercial seaports will be opened.

Small crafts will be allowed entry into seaports, in-line with health and border law enforcement protocols.

Travelling to South Africa

Travellers intending to visit the country will be expected to produce a PCR  (polymerase chain reaction) test that is not older than 72 hours from the time of departure from the country of origin to South Africa. This test must be conducted by a certified medical practitioner and should have the name and signature of the practitioner who conducted such test.

Upon arrival in the port of entry, the traveller will be screened for any COVID-19 symptoms or for contact with people who have been infected with the COVID-19 virus.

Travellers will also need to provide proof of accommodation address should they need to  self-quarantine at the time of arrival in the country.

Should the traveller display any COVID-19–related symptoms or been in contact with an infected person(s), they will be expected to take a mandatory COVID-19 test.  This test will be at the traveller’s cost.  If the COVID-19 test comes back positive, the traveller will be subjected to a 10 day quarantine at a designated site.  The accommodation at a quarantine site will be at the traveller’s cost.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on 11 November 2020 that “we are also opening up international travel to all countries subject to the necessary health protocols and the presentation of a negative Covid-19 certificate”.

2021-03-19T14:59:29+00:0012 November 2020|Uncategorised|

Welcome to the new website

We are pleased to launch our new website and hope you find it useful in these difficult and uncertain times.

There are many updates for the website planned, so please bear with us as we implement them. For the moment, we’ve added the most critical information you need to access the services of the High Commission and stay up-to-date in the rapidly changing circumstances created by the current pandemic.

2020-11-07T05:57:48+00:005 November 2020|News|
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