President’s Remarks during the Official Opening of the South African High Commission Diplomatic Complex/Chancery
Thank you Master of Ceremony;
The Right Honourable, The Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Lesotho, Pakalitha Mosisili and Mme Ma-Thato Mosisili;
The Speaker of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Max Sisulu;
The President of the Senate of the Kingdom of Lesotho;
Their Excellencies, the Cabinet Ministers from the Government of Lesotho;
Their Excellencies, the Cabinet Ministers from the Republic of South Africa;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Traditional Leaders present;
Their Lordships The Executive Mayor and Mayors;
Senior Government Officials and esteemed delegates;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Let me start by expressing our gratitude to the Government and the People of the Kingdom of Lesotho for availing this majestic site as a gift to the Government and the People of South Africa.
Honourable Prime Minister, ladies and gentlemen;
To the People of South Africa, this is not just a piece land from the Basotho-it is a gesture symbolising the historic ties that bind our two sisterly nations. It further symbolises the future of our bilateral relations-both at State level, as well as people-to-people relations.
Ladies and gentlemen;
We are gathered here to ensure that the People from our sisterly nations (the Kingdom of Lesotho and the Republi8c of South Africa) have a suitable place, and a conducive environment when engaging each other on the complex issues that always dominate inter-state relations. This magnificent structure symbolises that our diplomatic relations are at highest level, and still consolidating-compared to the diplomacy conducted during the times of the Difaqane or the Mfecane. By this building, we are witnessing a move from the era of horse-riding diplomats of the Difaqane times who were exchanging messages from one leader to the other – to structured, permanent, presence in the service our people and other nationals. We are further witnessing the seriousness which both Governments are investing in the future of our bilateral relations.
Ladies and gentlemen;
We do not want to re-emphasise the purpose of this Diplomatic Complex in the Kingdom of Lesotho. It is here to serve both the South African and Basotho people – as well as our visitors to this part of the world. There are no further excuses by all who are housed in here not to deliver the services required by our people.
This site is not far from the historic Thaba Bosiu- where the founding fathers of the Basotho nation under the leadership of Moshoeshoe were engaging in diplomatic activities for peaceful co-existence with their neighbours. Let us use this building in furthering and entrenching our diplomatic relations in a manner that will not let down the spirit of Morena Moshoeshoe and our forefathers.
In conclusion, we commend the efforts and resources availed for this project by the Ministry of Public Works-under the leadership of Minister Geoff Doidge. This is a beautiful architectural, engineering and construction achievement.
To the many people who laboured tirelessly, who meticulously planned and constructed this complex, to the officials who spent many hours in meetings to get this project going and to keep it in track- we would like to thank you for your endeavours which became a towering symbol of your dedicated labour.
Honourable Prime Minister, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen;
It is my honour and pleasure to declare the South African High Commission Diplomatic Complex in the Kingdom of Lesotho officially opened.