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Ambassador Geoffrey Quinton Mitchell Doidge (Geoff Doidge)

Born in Kokstad in the Province of Kwa Zulu Natal on 26th April 1954, married to Carol and have four (adult) children.

Former, High Commissioner of South Africa to Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bangladesh (April 2011 – June 2016) and served as Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Sri Lanka.

Political Activist from the age of 17 in support of the banned African National Congress (ANC). Elected to in numerous Community Based Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations and Religious Bodies at both Regional and National level. Contributed significantly to the people’s liberation struggle. After the unbanning I was elected to leadership positions on the African National Congress and the South African National Civic Association. Remain a member of the African National Congress.

Elected to Parliament in 1990 under President Mandela and served 16 years in Parliament, in several parliamentary leadership positions. Served on and represented Parliament on several UN Agencies and Non-governmental Organisations in Africa, Rome, Geneva and New York. Have contested in four general elections and was successfully re-elected. Served as Deputy Chief Whip of the Majority Party in Parliament: the African National Congress, for 7 years.

Participated fully in the transition process in South Africa and became a member of the Constituent Assembly that produced the internationally acclaimed, Constitution of South Africa.

In Parliament I was responsible for the management of the legislative process that oversaw the passing of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation (TRC) Act, which gave the world the most progressive Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In 2003, I was elected by the National Assembly as the House Chairperson responsible for the oversight Committees of the National Assembly and Joint Committees of both Houses of Parliament which there are 55 in total. I was also responsible for development of ICT Systems unique to the legislature to support members of Parliament in their work.  I served 4 years as a Senior Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for 4 years.

In 2007, appointed to serve in Cabinet as the Minister of Public Works until the General Election of 2009.

In 2009, reappointed to serve in Cabinet as the Minister of Public Works.

Resigned from Government and Parliament in October 2010.

As South Africa’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka – in August 2011, I started the South African Initiative in Sri Lanka – this is an initiative to share our experiences of how we transitioned from racist oppression and segregation to a negotiated settlement that led to a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic South Africa. I have a passion to promote Transitional Justice, to redress massive human rights abuses, through truth-telling mechanisms, reparations, institutional reform, and recognition for the suffering of the victims, memorialisation and reconciliation. I am a firm believer of Restorative Justice as opposed to Retributive Justice.

My focus in this Embassy will be a switch from Political Diplomacy to Economic Diplomacy.

End: 22 September 2016

HE Mr Geoff Doidge
Head of Mission
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