Media Statement

25 October 2016

President Zuma sends condolences to the State of Qatar on the passing of former Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani

President Zuma, has today, Tuesday, 25 October 2016, on behalf of the South African Government and the people of South Africa, extended the country’s deepest condolences to the people of the State of Qatar following the passing of former Qatari Emir Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, at the age of 84 years.

Sheikh Khalifa ruled Qatar from 1972 until 1995. He was one of the first rulers of Qatar after it gained independence from Britain in 1971.

During his time as leader, Sheikh Khalifa oversaw the beginnings of the transformation of modern-day Qatar into an energy-rich country. He was seen as a founding father of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the political and economic union incorporating six states in the region, including Qatar.

During his reign, he steadfastly maintained sanctions against the apartheid regime, which saw bilateral relations being established on 10 May 1994. These relations were further strengthened by the state visits of former Presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and current President Jacob Zuma.

The South African Government extends its deepest condolences to the Government and people of the State of Qatar in this moment of sadness and grief.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 082 884 5974


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