South Africa: Former British High Commissioner Nigel Casey Notes 'Real Revival' of Political Relations With South Africa


After facing challenges such as Covid-19 and Brexit during his time in SA, the British High Commissioner is back in Britain, where he is ready for a new role heading a directorate in the Foreign Office.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Nigel Casey left South Africa this week after four years as British High Commissioner. His time here was dominated by Brexit, Covid-19 and rebooting relations with South Africa after the dismal Jacob Zuma years.

He spent much of his last year as a "travel agent and immigrant consultant", arranging 19 flights to repatriate more than 5,000 Brits from the lockdown here.

And when he got home on Thursday, he had to go into 10 days of quarantine with his family in a hotel near the airport.

"Well, I'm happy to set an example," he said gamely. "It's quite a good reflection of the last year actually." The Covid year was a reminder - "as if we needed one - of the depth and strength of the human relationships linking the two countries; of the huge numbers who move between our countries, for leisure, for work, to see their families".

Casey won't venture into domestic politics...

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