President Thabo Mbeki congratulates Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

Jakarta - President Thabo Mbeki today, Tuesday 19 April 2005 extended South Africa's congratulations to the Holy See and indeed the Catholic faith and fraternity on the successful election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the new Head of the Catholic Church.

President Mbeki noted that His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI assumes leadership at a critical time in which the world collective wisdom and leadership including that of the religious community is most important to face up to challenges of deepening poverty and under-development afflicting many people of the world.

In this regard, South Africa expresses its conviction that Pope Benedict XVI and indeed the Roman Catholic Church will remain seized of and ally themselves with global the struggle for a better Africa and a better world.

Accordingly, South Africa joins the international community and the Catholic Fraternity at home and abroad in extending its best wishes to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI in all his endeavours.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa at 082-990-48-53

Department of Foreign Affairs
P/Bag X152

19 April 2005

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa