Toast Remarks by the Deputy President, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, on the occasion of the Official Visit to Indonesia

Your Excellency, Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and Mrs Kalla;
Chairperson of the House of Representatives;
Mr Agung Laksono;
Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers from both Governments;
Honourable Members of Parliament;
Senior Officials from both Governments;
Business Community Representatives;
Distinguished guests;
Ladies and gentlemen

Please allow me, on behalf of the South African Government, and its people to thank Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla for the kind invitation to pay an official visit to Indonesia. South Africa's relations with Indonesia date back to the times when slavery was the order of the day.

This relationship has seen people being moved from country to country and from continent to continent, which in our case resulted in people like Syekh Yusuf being displaced from Makassar in Indonesia to settle in a place that is today called Makassar next to Cape Town, in South Africa.

Some of you may recall that Vice President Kalla paid an historic visit to South Africa last year where the South Africa Government recognised the contributions and sacrifices made by Syekh Yusuf.

To honour this martyr, the OR Tambo award was posthumously bestowed at the National Orders Award ceremony, which was held in Pretoria on 27 September. Not only has the honour on Syekh Yusuf cemented the bond between South Africa and Indonesia, it has also presented our two nations with opportunities that would probably never have surfaced.

Our political relations took root in 1955 at the Asia Africa Conference in Bandung when Indonesia provided a venue for the struggle of the South African people against apartheid.

Bandung's main aim was to promote solidarity and co-operation among the countries of Asia and Africa. However, what came out of the conference as witnessed by the growing relations between our two nations is political solidarity, economic and social cultural co-operation.

Given the historical ties between Indonesia and South Africa, it is quite appropriate that as strategic partners and emerging economies representing different parts of the "South", we should continue to play leading roles in bringing our regions together to the mutual benefit of all our peoples.

Our countries have many issues that they are in agreement with at an international terrain, and where we share common perspectives.

We agree for example on issues such as the need for a fair and equitable distribution of the benefits of globalisation and on the importance of making an impact on the lives of millions of people internationally who continue to live in conditions of deprivation and poverty.

As members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), we both realise our responsibilities in shaping a new and just world order. We, therefore, have to work together as partners in promoting the ideals of South-South co-operation, as well as to promote greater North-South Dialogue.

In conclusion, ladies and gentlemen, I would like once again, to sincerely thank Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and the Indonesia people for the kind invitation bestowed on my delegation and I.

May the special friendship between our countries and the goodwill between our people continue to blossom as we work towards achieving our shared vision of creating a better world for all.

Please allow me, on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa to propose a toast on the excellent relations between Indonesia and South Africa, as well as on the good health of Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla and the people of Indonesia.

I thank you!

Issued by: The Presidency
24 April 2006

 

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2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa