7 February 2017

South Africa: SA, Zambia Cement Cultural Relations

Pretoria — Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa is currently in Zambia to strengthen cultural relations with that country's Tourism and Arts Minister, Charles Banda.

Minister Mthethwa hopes to conclude discussions on bilateral cultural relations between the two countries on his two-day visit, which started on Monday.

The visit is also intended to strengthen collaboration on the Africa Month programme of activities that takes place in May to commemorate the formation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

Relations between South Africa and Zambia were concretised during the liberation struggle when Zambia supported freedom fighters from South Africa.

"Formal relations were established in 1992 at the level of Representative Offices and later upgraded to full diplomatic missions in 1994.

"These relations between the two countries were further enhanced during reciprocal State visits in 2009 by President Jacob Zuma to Zambia, and in 2010 by former President Rupiah Banda to South Africa," the department said.

The visit will also strengthen cooperation on liberation heritage as part of work on the Liberation Heritage Route. The route identifies and recognises sites of historical significance in bringing freedom to South Africa.

"As South Africa marks the centenary of the birth of the great revolutionary leader, ANC President Oliver Reginald Tambo, the OR Tambo Centenary programme will also come under discussion.

"Minister Mthethwa will visit Oliver Tambo House in Chelstone and other landmarks of the liberation movement in exile," the Department of Arts and Culture said.

Minister Mthethwa will pay a visit to former Zambian President and Pan-Africanist, Dr Kenneth Kaunda and visit Chilenje House 394, the place from which former President Kaunda directed the struggle for Zambia's independence.

Minister Mthethwa will visit Embassy Park for a wreath laying ceremony at the graves of late Presidents Michael Sata, Levy Mwanawasa and Frederick Chiluba.

Minister Mthethwa will also visit Leopards Hill gravesite to pay respect at the grave of the late barrister, activist and freedom fighter, Duma Nokwe.

Nokwe was the first African advocate of the Supreme Court of Transvaal and his political commitment in conscientising and mobilising people against apartheid-led to harassment and imprisonment by the apartheid government.

He was later forced into exile where he continued the struggle through diplomacy work. He died in Lusaka in 1978.

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