Issue 406 | 28 November 2019
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  President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook a Working Visit to the Kingdom of Lesotho on Wednesday, 27 November 2019, at the invitation of the Right Honourable Prime Minister Thomas Thabane to attend the closing ceremony of the Multistakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II.
President Ramaphosa engaged with, among others, political parties and civil-society groupings.

President Ramaphosa attended the closing ceremony of the Multistakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II in his capacity as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Facilitator to Lesotho.

President Ramaphosa was appointed SADC Facilitator to Lesotho in September 2014 when he held the position of Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa.
After assuming the position of President of the Republic in 2018, President Ramaphosa appointed former Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke to lead the SADC Facilitation Team to Lesotho.

The Multistakeholder National Dialogue Plenary II, from 25 to 27 November 2019, was a very important milestone in the reforms process of the Kingdom of Lesotho. It marked the end of the phase of consultations and negotiations on the reforms that are required. It was also the beginning of a new phase of the operationalisation of reforms under the guidance of the newly established National Reforms Authority.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor; the Minister of State Security, Ayanda Dlodlo; and the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Candith Mashego-Dlamini.
The annual 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, known as the 16 Days Campaign, was launched in Lephalale, Limpopo, on 25 November 2019.
President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the campaign with a visit to the Victim Support Centre at Witpoort Police Station.

The visit to the police station was followed by an event at the Ga-Seleka Community Hall, led by the Minister in The Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

The objectives of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign include expanding the call on men and boys to take a stand against all forms of abuse and the killing of women and children and promoting a multi-sectoral, collective action and responsibility in the fight to eradicate violence against women and children.

It is also an opportunity to update the public on the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) and foster partnership for its implementation.

All South Africans are during this time mobilised to commit to ending GBVF by signing the National Pledge on GBVF.

This year’s campaign is themed “Enough is Enough: 365 Days to End Gender-Based Violence and Femicide”.
If you need help, the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre is the toll-free number to call to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. Contact 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV). Callers can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact them by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone. – Source:
Deputy President David Mabuza on Thursday, 21 November 2019, concluded his two-day Working Visit to Juba in the Republic of South Sudan, where he held consultations with various stakeholders and signatories to the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
  Deputy President Mabuza was in Juba as the Special Envoy to urge all stakeholders, especially the signatories to the Revitalised Agreement, to use the 100-days extended period of the pre-transition to implement key outstanding matters on governance and security arrangements that are necessary for the installation of the Transitional Government of National Unity.

During these consultations, Deputy President Mabuza engaged, among others, the representatives of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, the National Pre-Transitional Committee and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Special Envoy to South Sudan where he assured them of continued support by the Government and people of South Africa.

Further to this, the Deputy President held a number of bilateral meetings with the First Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan, Lt Gen Taban Deng Gai; the Vice President, Dr James Wani Igga; and the Vice President-Designate, Madam Rebecca Nyandeng Garang to engage on sticky issues requiring urgent attention.
Finally, Deputy President Mabuza held bilateral consultation with the President of the Republic of South Sudan, His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, to express South Africa’s support and willingness to actively join hands with the Government and the people of South Sudan, in the implementation of outstanding matters over this extended period of 100 days.

President Salva Kiir Mayardit then extended an invitation to Deputy President Mabuza and his delegation, to join him for the official commissioning of the South Sudan Power Plant that is based in Kondokoro, Juba, which was funded by the Development Bank of Africa.

“Our two-day Working Visit to South Sudan has yielded positive results and a renewed sense of hope towards building sufficient consensus for lasting peace and stability for the people of South Sudan. We have interacted with the relevant parties who have expressed their commitment to working together, and guided by the objective to form a Transitional Government of National Unity. On our part, we are looking into convening these parties for a retreat that is aimed at confidence-building”, said Deputy President Mabuza.

The Deputy President highlighted the fact that all the parties had further agreed to establish mechanisms to supervise the implementation of the outstanding critical tasks related to security and governance.

“The acceptance of the extension on the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity by all relevant stakeholders is quite encouraging and we would like to recommit ourselves and pledge our support as South Africa, to provide the necessary assistance to ensure that the timeframe agreed upon is fully realised”, said Deputy President Mabuza.
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Candith Mashego-Dlamini, led a South African delegation to the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting from 22 to 23 November 2019 in Nagoya, Japan.
The G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is one of the key meetings on the calendar of the G20 each year. The meeting allows for G20 foreign ministers from developed and developing countries to reflect on current dynamics in international relations and to provide political momentum to the G20 work in a given year.

Following the elevation of the G20 to Heads of State level in 2008, the mandate and scope of the G20 have significantly expanded from a solely financial and economic focus on the international financial architecture, financial regulatory reform and global economic governance, to include new issues that assume an increasingly political and foreign policy dimension.

The G20 economies account for 85% of the global gross domestic product, 80% of world trade and two-thirds of the world’s population. Given its size and significance, the G20 has been credited for stabilising the international financial and economic architecture following the 2008 global financial crisis.

South Africa has been a permanent co-chair of the G20 Development Working Group since 2010. Accordingly, Deputy Minister Mashego-Dlamini’s delegation focussed on ways in which South Africa could continue to work with its G20 partners to ensure the implementation of previous commitments to Africa in the area of development, including the G20 Industrialisation of Africa Initiative, the G20 Partnership with Africa, inclusive of the Compact with Africa, the #eskillsforgirls and Rural Youth Development Initiatives.
The Government of the Republic of South Africa, in collaboration with the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (UNIDROIT), hosted a Diplomatic Conference that adopted an international treaty that facilitates the financing of MAC equipment.
The Diplomatic Conference was held at the OR Tambo Building of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation over a two-week period, commencing on 11 November 2019. The conference concluded its work with the signing of the Final Acts as well as the Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment on 22 November 2019. The conference decided to name the protocol after the city of Pretoria.

By hosting the Diplomatic Conference, South Africa built on the legacy of the hosting of the Diplomatic Conference that adopted the UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (Cape Town Convention) in 2001 in Cape Town.

In his closing address, DIRCO’s Director-General, Mr Kgabo Mahoai, stressed the importance of hosting the conference in Africa as the Pretoria Protocol holds great promise to stimulate development and contribute to prosperous and thriving economies and societies through the MAC sectors, which are key development drivers in the region. He also reiterated that a critical component of expanding the MAC sectors was the financing, leasing, importing and exporting of equipment used in these industries. More affordable financing and access to modern MAC equipment will allow producers in these sectors to optimise their productivity and profitability.

The Director-General also stressed that this protocol contributed to the broader global Sustainable Development Agenda. In particular, addressing poverty and hunger, and decent work and economic growth through industry, innovation and infrastructure, as some of the key Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. The Pretoria Protocol has the potential to transform the lives of millions of people, particularly in the developing world. The possibility for an emerging farmer or entrepreneur to obtain MAC equipment that would otherwise have been beyond his or her reach will indeed be a game changer. It will contribute to the realisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

The Director-General also referred to the Railway Protocol which is the third Protocol under the Cape Town Convention. All over the world, including in Africa, there are plans for major developments of the railways. These railways will be a fundamental component of the continent’s development goals, supporting regional integration, helping local businesses export both within and outside of Africa, as well as providing mass transportation for goods and persons.  The Rail Protocol therefore dovetails with the implementation of the Pretoria Protocol. It will lead to a more competitive and dynamic rail industry that can bring important social, environmental, developmental and economic advantages, as well as new business opportunities to all countries, on both the micro and macro level.

More information on the MAC Protocol Diplomatic Conference can be found at, and information on UNIDROIT at


As South Africa prepares to take over the rotational chairship of the AU in February 2020, the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies is hard at work ensuring that the old archival material of the AU becomes digitally accessible.
  Presently, this rich heritage content – dating back to the AU’s formation in 1963 – is stored in archaic analogue tapes, placing it out of the reach of many scholars, researchers, historians, policymakers and ordinary Africans who would want to access this information.

The department is working closely with ZA Central Registry, a South African-based company, to create an online streaming platform expected to be known as

“It gives us great pride to be able to support the communications and digital transformation strategy of the AU. The streaming service is not one isolated service, but a segment of the AU communications strategy,” said Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The domain registration will go a long way towards creating a much-needed and unique African identity for this content, while also aligning the AU with global digital trends. ZA Central Registry is also working on operationalising the Dot Africa Domain name.
In support of these efforts, South African signal distributor Sentech is providing IP-based high-definition broadcast signal distribution services that will include Linear broadcast and streaming services from the AU headquarters in Ethiopia, to other African signal broadcasters or service platforms.

This initiative is one of the outcomes arising from landmark agreements adopted in the 2019 Sharm El Sheikh Declaration in Egypt.

The declaration, reached between African ministers responsible for communication and information and communications technologies in their respective countries, calls for a special focus on the African Digital Transformation Strategy, the AU Communication and Advocacy Strategy as well as the union’s Brand and Communication Style Guideline, which are meant to advance the AU’s Agenda 2063 goals of accelerating innovation and technology.

“The project is a strategic partnership with the AU and the African community. It is also an opportunity to demonstrate that our vision as a country is to champion unity and social cohesion, not just in South Africa, but also on the continent.

“The project supports infrastructure connectivity, focussing on building an information society and knowledge-based economy while helping to transform Africa’s economies, through job creation and localising the revenue generated in Africa,” said Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams.

The Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution, announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa in April this year, will work closely with its counterparts on the continent to create synergies and work towards achieving these continental ambitions.

President Ramaphosa be will sworn in as chair of the AU on 9 February 2020 in a ceremony at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. – Source:

The celebrations for the 2019 Ubuntu Heritage event were hosted by the SA Embassy in the State of Qatar at the Doha Golf Club: Sports Park on 15 November 2019.

This community event was aimed at celebrating South Africa’s diverse and rich cultural heritage and was attended by the South African community based in Qatar, business and private-sector partners, dignitaries, members of the Diplomatic Corps and other African communities.

This year’s event was supported and sponsored by SASOL, Grand Hyatt Hotel Doha, Al Jassra Group, Turkish Airlines, Nandos/Oryx Group for Food Services, Lulu Supermarket and Dallah Group Holding (through SDI Marketing).

The main message at the event was to promote unity, inclusivity, nation-building, tolerance and peaceful co-existence among nations. The event also showcased South African arts, crafts and foods and benefitted from the presence of the renowned South African Master Chef, Jenny Morris, whose talent showcased South African dishes and foods, as well as the popular musician, Jimmy Nevis.The event also saw the participation of more than 20 South African vendors who erected their stalls to market South African foods, arts and crafts. Participants of all ages and creed graced the event, and took part in many competitions and games with many give-aways and gifts for the participants.

The celebrations also reflected on South Africa’s win of the 2019 Rugby World Cup and other successes by South African sportspersons. An initiative of “Walking Football” was also held under the banner and support of one of the founding members of the game in Cape Town and Director of Walking Football to the Middle East, Derrick Smith, and the International Walking Football Federation. It is aimed at promoting sport, health and wellness and to combat communicable diseases and disability challenges and therefore improve quality of life, fitness and social interaction.
A game farm with soaring summer temperatures isn't an obvious location to farm blueberries. Yet, blueberries are now being harvested in the Madikwe Conservancy in the Limpopo bush.
  Madikwe Berry has planted seven varieties of blueberry to ensure a prolonged harvest.

Almost all their berries are exported to Europe, Germany, Ireland, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

When three entrepreneurs were looking for land to start growing blueberries, a game farm in Limpopo – where temperatures can reach 45 degrees in summer – was not an obvious location. After harvesting, blueberries require very cold temperatures to keep them fresh. Growing them also require a lot of water.

For Vance Kershner, Andrew Torr and Victor van Eck, their biggest challenge was finding a 60-hectare farm with a steady water supply and with water rights. After an extensive search around the country with no joy, they identified a 50-hectare portion of land in the Madikwe Conservancy, close to the Derdepoort Botswana border in the Limpopo province.

There were some major challenges, including the heat and extreme weather conditions. The area sees heavy localised thunderstorms accompanied by hail.
Also, porcupines, monkeys, birds and rats from the surrounding conservancy were a threat to the crops.

The farmers built tunnel structures covered by shadenet to mitigate the weather risks and constructed an electric fence around the perimeter of the project to keep out wild animals.

They also built their own world-class pack house which enables them to cool the berries down to 5 degrees within an hour of picking, after which the berries are packed for dispatch. To ensure that fruit freshness is maintained the cold chain cannot be broken until it reaches the consumer. Fruit is then exported in refrigerated containers which have an inert gas blanket that also prolongs fruit life.

Madikwe Berry, which broke ground in 2017, harvested their first blueberries in August this year. The berries are export quality, which requires them to be larger then 13mm, according to general manager, Vic Van Eck.

Blueberries are harvested once a year, starting in the spring, and are exported continually over the harvest season. Madikwe Berry has planted seven varieties of blueberry to ensure a prolonged harvest. To improve crop yield, they bring in 300 to 400 beehives every May for about three months to assist with pollination of the blue berries, according to Van Eck.

Blueberries are relatively new in South Africa and establishing them requires a large initial capital investment. The plants can bear fruit within six to eight months depending on their size – a blueberry bush can produce fruit for between six and eight years. – Source:
So far this year, the film and media unit of Wesgro has facilitated a total of R2.38 billion in film and media production spending in Cape Town and the Western Cape, creating the equivalent of 2 265 full-time jobs.
  Wesgro is the official tourism, trade and investment promotion agency for the city and the province. It recently announced that overall, for the 2018/19 financial year, it helped facilitate R10.73 billion into the Western Cape's economy. In addition, it assisted in generating close to 4 000 jobs for the province.

According to Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, the ability to work together in finding solutions, across different levels of governments, and between government and the private sector, is not easy, but it is essential in overcoming the many complex hurdles that face South Africa's economy.

The film and media unit of Wesgro facilitates business-to-business connections, assists with export advancement programmes, and provides advice on access to national film and television incentives provided by the Department of Trade and Industry.
According to Lisa Mini, Wesgro’s film and media promotion officer, it is about building relationships with key government and industry stakeholders. The unit works with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Cape Town Film Studios and the City of Cape Town. – Source:
The “Cunard Queen Elizabeth” cruise liner recently docked at the Cape Town Cruise Terminal, carrying nearly 2 000 passengers from across the world.
The captain, Inger Klein Thorhauge, who is also the first female captain of the ship, said: “Half of the guests are leaving the ship today, and another half will be joining and sailing with us from here to Australia.

“There are 25 nationalities as guests on the ship, with the majority being British, American and Australian.”

Thorhauge said it was noticed that more South Africans were travelling on the ship, and there were a growing number working on board.

A cruise ship such as the Cunard Queen Elizabeth carries almost 2 000 passengers, which results in a spend of R2 million a day.

An average international tourist spends about R8 400 in a destination such as Cape Town, while an average of R10 600 is spent on board.

There are 1915 passengers and 995 crew members.
  According to Cape Town Tourism, the projected value of the cruise tourism industry between 2017 and 2027 is estimated to be R220 billion.

The ship is destined for Australia where, in February and March, she will spend 54 days cruising between Sydney and Melbourne.

MS Queen Elizabeth is raising funds for the Boucher Legacy as she sails across the globe.

Former cricketer, Mark Boucher, is co-founder of the Boucher Legacy, an NGO for rhinos.

He said: “The plight of rhinos is a major problem and Cunard chose to support the fight against rhino poaching.
“The opportunity to spread this message worldwide on a cruise ship is huge, and it could not have been done without partnerships.” – Source:
After fleeing home as a child, owing to an abusive alcoholic relative, Shaygam Newman found comfort among street dogs and vowed that he would one day repay them.
  Years later, his love for dogs in his very own care operation has seen him scoop the Brian Davies Award that recognises outstanding work for animals in difficult and dangerous situations.

The international award was given to Newman for his work, feeding, monitoring and medically treating dogs in Hangberg, near Hout Bay, Cape Town.

The Brian Davies Award is an annual award hosted by international welfare organisation, Network for Animals (NFA), and the winner receives $10 000 in prize money.

Newman has a variety of animals in his care, he tells News24, including cats, pigs and ducks.

After finding a spot and setting up near Table Mountain after he left home, Newman was set for his caring operation.
His first rescue was a fighting dog and within weeks in Newman's care, the dog – whose owner was even afraid of it – became friendly again.
"Caring for animals is all I know. They are my priority," he emphasised.

"The award makes my heart happy; with the money, there's a lot I will do for the animals to care for and maintain them," he said.

He added that he would use the money to build proper enclosures.

NFA's co-founder Gloria Davies said of Newman: "He works in a difficult and dangerous place with little money and minimal resources, yet he has been instrumental in caring for and changing the lives of street dogs.

Newman also has a group of young people who assist him, known as "Shaygam's Crew" who he taught to love and care for dogs specifically – and now patrol the streets, checking on their well-being. – Source:
The South African comedian Trevor Noah has been nominated in the Best Comedy Album Category for his “Son of Patricia” comedy special, which first aired on Netflix a year ago.
  On the Grammy’s website it says that Best Comedy Album entrants constitute those whose albums contain at least 51% playing time of new recordings.

Son of Patricia features Noah discussing racism, immigration and lessons learned from Trevor’s mother … Patricia.

In competition with Noah’s Son of Patricia is Quality Time (Jim Gaffigan), Relatable (Elle DeGeneres), Right Now (Aziz Ansari) and Sticks & Stones (Dave Chappelle).

Many South African fans have taken to social media to congratulate Noah on the nomination and thank him for flying the flag high for South Africa.

Noah’s The Daily Show is available in South Africa to watch live on DStv Now and on CatchUp. – Source:
One of South Africa’s top award-winning chefs – the talented Chantel Dartnall – has once again been invited to the prestigious La Liste World Restaurant Awards in Paris.
Dartnall is Head Chef and owner at Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient, located in Elandsfontein, Pretoria.

The restaurant expressed its excitement recently in announcing that Dartnall has been invited the to La Liste Awards, which will take place in Paris on 2 December.

Restaurant Mosaic said: “The La Liste World Restaurant Awards consistently acknowledges the finest culinary professionals from around the globe, and it is an honour for us to be able to join them again this year.

“Chef Chantel and the team at Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient are proud to represent South Africa on this global stage, and hope to bring home more good news again this year!”

Restaurant Mosaic at The Orient was recently named one of South Africa’s Top 10 restaurants for 2019, and in fact was the only restaurant outside of the Western Cape to crack a nod (coming in at number nine).
After thanking the organisers and judges for their votes and recognition over the past decade, she said: “When we conceptualised Restaurant Mosaic 15 years ago, we had a clear vision of our goals and of what we wanted to achieve.

“I am extremely proud of my team and our achievements to date and have been blessed with a “cornucopia “of local and international accolades [including Best Female Chef in the World in Best Chef Awards 2017!) and recognition throughout our culinary journey.

“I have decided that after having set foot on the Eat Out stage 10 times, being recognised not only as one of their top 10 restaurants, but also having taken home the title of Chef of the Year twice, and Mosaic’s Sommelier Moses Magwasa has also had the honour of going home with the wine service award two consecutive years, that we will be stepping aside to vacate our position in the top 10 lineup to allow for the new generation of chefs and restaurants to shine on the culinary stage.

“My team and I will now continue to focus on what we do best at Restaurant Mosaic – creating magical dining experiences for our guests, supporting our local suppliers and growing the talent of our young chefs and my front of house team in the years to come,” she said. – Source:
First they made waves on popular reality competition show, “America's Got Talent”, and now the Ndlovu Youth Choir has made South Africa proud again by winning an award with flautist Wouter Kellerman for the Best Independent Music Video for their Zulu version of Ed Sheeran's “Shape of You”.
The ceremony for Hollywood Music in Media Awards took place at The Avalon in Hollywood, California, on 20 November.

The choir recently performed at The Eat Out Awards and has an album coming out soon via Sony Music.

The choir from Limpopo and Wouter shared the news on social media.

Wouter said: "We just heard we won the HMMA (Hollywood Music in Media Award) with Ndlovu Youth Choir for 'Best Independent Music Video' for our Zulu version of Ed Sheeran's Shape of You." – Source:


  Team SA has returned from the World Para Athletics Championships with a bagful of medals and a total of 10 qualifiers for next year’s Tokyo Paralympics – and counting.
Eleven medals were won in Dubai, two of them gold, with three silvers and six bronzes. Anrune Weyers was the show-stopper from Team SA's perspective, bagging a full house of gold, silver and bronze.

Weyers (nee Liebenberg) already has two Paralympic Games under her belt: London 2012 and Rio 2016. At both those Games, she won 400-metre silver in the T47 classification (an upper-limb deficiency) after being born with a congenital defect to her left arm.

Now, at the World Para Athletics Championships, the sprinter won gold in the 400m (T47), silver in the 200m (T47) and bronze in the 100m (also T47).

The former Kempton Park athlete lives in Stellenbosch where’s she’s trained by long-time Paralympic coach Suzanne Ferreira and the 27-year-old continues to juggle married life with teaching and training. She’s a teacher at the I-Learn Developmental Centre in Durbanville in Cape Town, a school for special-needs children.

Team SA’s other gold medallist was the incredibly talented 17-year-old Ntando Mahlangu, who won the men’s 100m (T61) title in 23.23 seconds, ahead of Great Britain’s Paralympic hero Richard Whitehead.

On Facebook, Mahlangu wrote: ‘An honour to stand tall beside Richard Whitehead and Ali Lacin after last night’s T61 200m final. Thank you Mr Whitehead for always supporting my journey and inspiring me to dream big!’

Mahlangu was confined to a wheelchair since birth until he was at least 10. He suffered from hemimelia, a condition which resulted in his legs never developing fully beneath the knees. In 2012, the decision was made to amputate both his legs at the knee.


Gold (2): Anrune Weyers (Women’s 400m, T47), Ntando Mahlangu (Men’s 100m, T61)

Silver (3): Arune Weyers (Women’s 200m, T47), Simone Kruger (Women’s discus, F38), Mpumelelo Mhlongo (Men’s 100m, T64)

Bronze (6): Charl du Toit (Men’s 400m, T37), Anrune Weyers (Women’s 100m, T47), Reinhardt Hamman (Men’s javelin, F38), Anike Pretorius (Women’s 100m, T13), Mpumelelo Mhlongo (Men’s long jump, T64), Sheryl James (Women’s 400m, T37). – Source:
“Madam President. Let me thank Mr Nikolay Mladenov, Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Ms Tania Hary, Executive Director of Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement for their briefings.

“I would like to address the following three issues in my statement: 1) the systematic annexation of Palestinian lands, 2) the situation in Gaza and 3) the power of peaceful resolution of conflict.

“Madam President, on the first issue of the systematic annexation of Palestinian lands, South Africa would like to reiterate its steadfast stance with regard to the peace process, and resolving the constant stalemate in the negotiations. In this context, we affirm that the only way to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East is through reaching a lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis themselves, and restoring all legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the two-state solution and the relevant UN resolutions and international terms of reference, including the Madrid Principles, the Arab Peace Plan and the Quartet Peace Plan, among others.

“The continued disregard for these prevailing and longstanding internationally accepted concepts cannot be allowed, particularly with regard to the circumvention of final status issues such as the borders, the status of Jerusalem and the right of return of refugees.

“Israels continued pronouncements about the annexation of large parts of the West Bank and the buildings of additional settlements, further undermines the prospects of peace and are glaring examples of violations of international law.

“Since 1967, for over half a century, Israel has systematically constructed over 160 settlements and outposts on land seized from the Palestinian people. Over 600 000 Israelis are living in settlements built from the ruins of demolished and destroyed Palestinian property.

“This council, since the adoption of the first resolution on the situation in Palestine, Resolution 42 of March 1948, over 70 years ago and all subsequent resolutions, has failed to ensure that these resolutions are implemented or taken any concrete action to address the blatant violations of these resolutions. I ask now, of my fellow council members, what will force the council to act?

“Madam President,

“I would like to remind this council of its adoption, unanimously, of Resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016. It clearly states that the council and I now quote:

‘Reaffirms that the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.‘

“There is no ambiguity in these words or this resolution, legal or otherwise.

“Article 25 of the Charter of the United Nations clearly states, and I quote again:

‘The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decision of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.’

“It must be clear to all, that no member state is exempt from their obligations under the UN Charter. If we should abandon the principles enshrined in the Charter, it would render this council and its decisions obsolete.

“In this regard, South Africa has and will continued to insist on the full implementation of Resolution 2334 (2016) and all other council resolutions on this matter, including calling for written reports by the Secretary-General on the implementation of Resolution 2334 (2016). We cannot ignore one Security Council resolution while calling for the full implementation of others.

“Madam President, on my second issue, South Africa is deeply concerned at the recent activities in Gaza that have led to increased tensions, the killing of over 30 Palestinians and injuries to hundreds of Palestinians and Israelis. These actions have perpetuated the dire security and humanitarian situation in the area and welcome last week’s ceasefire announcement, brokered by the UN and Egypt. In this regard, we call for a cessation of violent attacks on both sides and for all sides to negotiations.

“Additionally, South Africa is concerned at the continued human rights violations in the occupied territory and again reiterates that such violations only contribute to the fostering hatred between the people of Palestine and Israel.

“Madam President, with regard to my third issue on the power of peaceful resolution of conflicts.

“Israel’s security and that of its future generations does not lie in the annexation of all of Palestinian territory, the imprisonment of Palestinian, the erecting of high concrete walls and checkpoints or the continued blockade of Gaza. Rather, it lies in a peaceful, stable and happy neighbour, a sovereign and independent Palestinian State, whose children, like Israeli children, can go to school, play, attend places of worship and compete in sporting activities in peace and security.

“This can be achieved through sustained dialogue, negotiation and mediation, by both sides respecting one another and through compromise and understanding.

“As Former President Mandela said, at a banquet in Cape Town for visiting President Yasser Arafat in 1998:

‘Our own humble experience has shown that negotiated solution can be found event to conflict that the world has come to regard as insoluble. It has taught us that such solutions emerge when former opponents reach out to find common ground.’

“In conclusion, Madam President, I wish to state that South Africa is fully committed to ensuring that the two-state solution, and the agreed peace processes aimed at ensuring two viable states with the possibility of coexisting side by side to the mutual benefit of all peoples in the region, become a reality. We are ready to play our part to assist the parties to find durable peace for the sake of future generation.

“I thank you.”
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