Address by Deputy President Jacob Zuma
of the Republic of South Africa, on the Occasion of
the Official Dinner Hosted in his Honour by the Prime
Minister of the Republic of Angola, Luanda, Angola,
23 August 2004
Your Excellency Cde Prime Minister Dias dos Santos,
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers,
Comrades and Friends,
On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic
of South Africa, I wish to thank you most sincerely
for the warm welcome extended to my delegation and I
since our arrival in this country that we regard as
It is truly an honour for us to be on this home soil,
to renew and further strengthen the friendship, comradeship
and solidarity between the people of South Africa and
I must emphasise that we do not regard our presence
here as a visit, but rather as a homecoming, given the
history of comradeship and friendship between us.
Let me, ladies and gentlemen, sincerely congratulate
the Angolan government for the peace and stability that
has been achieved, after a bitter and protracted war.
Angola has proven to the world that peace is an achievable
goal in Africa, and that as Africans we can solve our
political problems and live in peace and harmony.
We congratulate you as well for the work done to build
the country socially, economically and politically,
and are aware of the challenges that still remain, with
regards to reconstruction and development.
Let me reiterate, dear brothers and sisters that we
regard Angola as our home since the ties that bind our
two peoples and fraternal ruling parties date back many
decades. We shared many hardships and triumphs together
in Tanzania during the 1960s, when freedom for all of
us appeared elusive.
We fought side by side in battles waged in the valleys,
hills and mountains of this country. Our heroic fighters
who lie buried here, who fell while defending the noble
principles of equality, freedom and the right to self-determination,
are a reminder of this bond between our two countries.
As we mark 10 years of freedom in South Africa, we
remember and salute these heroes and heroines. They
paid the ultimate price for the freedom of the people
of Angola and South Africa.
In remembering the history of our collective struggle,
we also recall the battle of Cuito Cuanavale where the
Angolan forces were victorious over the apartheid defence
force. This was a decisive battle, which changed the
political landscape of Southern Africa.
The myth of the invincibility of the apartheid South
African Defence Force and its constant aggression in
the region was dealt a final blow at Cuito Cuanavale.
This historic battle determined the date for Namibian
independence and hastened the freedom of the South African
The immeasurable hospitality, support, comradeship
and status we were accorded in this country during the
struggle will therefore forever remain deeply etched
in our memories. We salute Angola's commitment to the
total liberation of the African continent from all vestiges
of colonialism and racism, and the extent to which you
went to ensure that brothers and sisters in the neighbouring
countries achieve their freedom from degradation and
We are pleased that our joint solidarity has continued
to this day, and we are of one mind on various issues,
particularly the rebuilding of our continent. His Excellency
President Thabo Mbeki and His Excellency Eduardo dos
Santos, President of the Republic of Angola, lead us
in working for a better life and sustainable peace and
development, and their commitment goes beyond the two
republics to the continent as a whole.
My discussions today with His Excellency President
dos Santos and with yourself Cde Prime Minister and
the President of the National Assembly indicated that
we agree on many key issues, which makes our partnership
strong and durable.
This means that as we work to strengthen and deepen
the relationships between our two governments, we are
doing so on a solid basis and ideological foundation.
We are encouraged by the ground covered so far in our
relations since the dawn of South Africa's freedom.
The framework for co-operation between the two countries
has been formalised through the Joint Commission of
Co-Operation established in 2000, through which progress
made includes agreements for co-operation in the fields
of agriculture and health.
We are pleased that a lot of progress is being made
to conclude, in the near future, agreements in areas
such as minerals and energy, transport, tourism, sports
and recreation, science and technology, town planning
Cde Prime Minister we regard the deepening and expansion
of economic co-operation between our two countries as
being critical. On Wednesday we will have the opportunity
of interacting with the Angolan business community,
and we look forward to this, given the possibilities
of further increasing economic activity between our
Colleagues, brothers and sisters, our two countries,
having emerged from conflict, face the challenges of
reconstruction and development. In addition, we have
the responsibility of working within the auspices of
the African Union to rebuild the African continent to
ensure the ending of wars and famine, and to put Africa
on the road to sustainable development and prosperity.
The ending of conflicts remains a priority, and we
believe that we need to continue working together to
assist our brothers and sisters in Burundi, Democratic
Republic of Congo and other parts of the continent to
find lasting peace.
Africa, which has been the theatre of so much human
suffering for so long, is slowly yet surely on the move
to its renaissance. Our continent, which has witnessed
so much pain of slavery, colonialism and racism, is
refusing to be defined as a failed experiment.
The African Union and its programmes such as the Peace
and Security Council, the Pan African Parliament and
the New Partnership for Africa's Development are key
instruments that will guide us in reviving this continent
and in ensuring our success. Let us therefore work together
to make the African Renaissance a reality.
Once again, thank you for welcoming us back to our
O vosso pais e o nosso pais
O nosso pais e o vosso pais
Nos somos um so povo.
Issued by: The Presidency
23 August 2004