12 February 2014
President Zuma concludes visit to Brazzaville
His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has returned from Brazzaville, in the Republic of Congo, after attending the 25th anniversary celebrations of the signing of the Brazzaville Accord on Peace in Southern Africa, at the invitation of His Excellency President Denis Sassou-N'guesso of the Republic of Congo.
The celebrations coincided with the release of former President Nelson Mandela from prison on 11 February 1990.
During the event, the African Heads of State and representatives paid homage to Madiba and his contribution to the liberation struggle in South Africa and the Southern African region.
In his address, President Zuma stated that: "Although we laid to rest the mortal remains of former President Nelson Mandela last year in December, his spirit of resilience and reconciliation will forever be with us. His legacy of a free, united and developed Africa will continue to inspire us. We should continue to be inspired by his vision for peace and a prosperous Africa that is an equal partner in world affairs. As we pay tribute to him, we also salute his spirit of African and international solidarity."
This event commemorated the successful conclusion of the Brazzaville negotiations which ended the Angolan civil war with the signing of the Brazzaville Protocol on 22 December 1988.
The Accord led to the withdrawal of the South African and Cuban forces from Angola and ultimately led to the independence of Namibia through UN Resolution 435.
President Zuma stated that the Accord opened up the possibility of resolving conflicts which engulfed the Southern African region and led to the negotiation process and dialogue in South Africa.
"The Accord also indicates the friendship and cooperation that exists among African countries which fought together for independence and democracy and are now also united in the struggle for Africa's reconstruction and development", said the President.
President Zuma and President Sassou N'guesso also met on the sidelines to discuss issues of mutual concern. As the current Chair of the Contact Group on the Central African Republic (CAR), President Sassou-N'guesso apprised President Zuma of the latest developments in the CAR and about the Economic Community of Central African States' (ECCAS) efforts in dealing with the challenges facing that country.
South Africa continues to enjoy cordial bilateral relations with the Republic of Congo. South Africa and Congo have formalised their strategic cooperation and partnership through a structured mechanism, namely the Joint Commission for Cooperation (JCC) which was established in October 2010. The JCC is a mechanism to monitor and guide the implementation of Agreements.
Enquiries: Mac Maharaj on 079 879 3203 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by: The Presidency