As South Africa celebrates the silver jubilee of its freedom, Indonesia is delighted that this month also marks 25 years since we opened our embassy in the country.
Indonesia and South Africa share an unshakeable bond forged on the battlefield of the struggle against oppression. We are proud of a partnership that fought the viciousness of slavery, colonialism and apartheid. Our histories became entwined when Dutch invaders seized both our lands and subjugated our peoples. At the time our independent entities in south-east Asia came to be named by the colonial power and its private companies as the Dutch East Indies centred around Batavia.
The Dutch, of course, bizarrely named the land at the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. Both our peoples put up fierce resistance. That resistance was, however, stymied by superior European armaments. The flame of resistance continued to burn in the hearts of our people resulting in ongoing revolts in both our lands. Since the mid-17th century, Indonesian slaves at the Cape fought shoulder-to-shoulder with other Asian and African slaves as well as the indigenous Khoi and San peoples.
We remain grateful to the indigenous people of South Africa who embraced our brothers...