Media Statement

09 January 2017

President Zuma sends condolences to Portugal following former President Mário Soares’ death

The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, has on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, conveyed a message of condolences to the Government and the people of Portugal following the passing on of former President Mário Soares.

President Zuma recalled that former President Mário Soares, who died aged 92, was the historic first leader of the Portuguese Socialist Party and he was known in Portugal as one the founding fathers of the democratic era that started in 1974.  He was a constant figure in the country’s public life, both prior to the 25 April 1974 revolution and in the subsequent 40 years of Portuguese democracy, having been a former political prisoner and later an exile in São Tomé and Príncipe and France during the rightist Salazar dictatorship.

President Zuma noted that the late Soares will also be remembered for the key role he played in the decolonisation of Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, Angola, São Tomé and Príncipe and Mozambique, as well as for his meeting and support with ANC President Nelson Mandela in 1993 in the run-up to South Africa’s own democratic transition and his subsequent highly successful State Visit to South Africa in November 1995.

President Zuma said the people of South Africa share the loss of the Portuguese people and stand with them in this time of grief and mourning.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, 0828845974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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