Freedom Day Message by Ambassador Vika M Khumalo, Embassy of the Republic of South Africa Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Freedom Day Message by Ambassador Vika M Khumalo, Embassy of the Republic of South Africa Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran

Our Freedom Day is here again. Our past celebrations meant hosting National Day receptions that allowed us to mix with Iranian government officials, business, entrepreneurs and ordinary citizens of this beautiful Islamic Republic. Since the outbreak of the covid 19 pandemic, this has been next to impossible. Social distancing and the protocols to keep us all safe, have allowed for furthering our memories from some of the most memorable events and things we love and value. However, the pandemic has not succeeded to blunt our warm bilateral relations. 

The Republic of South Africa and the Islamic Republic of Iran have continued to stay in touch, collaborate, and trade as evidenced by the direct messages sent by our leaders, HE President Cyril M Ramaphosa and H.E. President Hassan Rouhani, to each other. These messages have always expressed our commitment and solidarity in finding sustainable global solutions and breakthroughs that will assist our peoples to attain equitable sustainable development. 

This year is also significant for the Republic since it has been 25 years since the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which not only guides our international interactions, but provides the cornerstone for our aspirations to advance the socio-economic welfare and rights of all South Africans. One of these fundamental rights enshrined within South Africa’s constitution is the right to access healthcare services.

Therefore, the theme guiding the celebrations of Freedom Day and Freedom Month 2021, “The year of Charlotte Maxeke: the meaning of Freedom under COVID-19, is especially appropriate considering the continuing global pandemic and the massive efforts undertaken by all to provide the necessary health care services to their citizens.

The pandemic continues to exacerbate the fault lines in our societies, specifically affecting the poor more severely and threatening the progress we have made in eradicating poverty, inequality and joblessness. In the coming future it is clear we would need to double our efforts in ensuring the socio-economic welfare of our peoples.

 The pandemic has, however, also shown us what we can achieve if we work together, not only as nations, but also regionally and globally. Our global diversity makes us stronger and not weaker.   

The Republic of South Africa is committed to continue working closely with the Islamic Republic of Iran in creating a conducive environment that will provide lasting peace and prosperity in the region. We believe that for the attainment of this goal, a better and peaceful Middle East will confirm the centrality of the role that the Islamic Republic of Iran will always play as a centrepiece for a stable and equitable West Asia. 

I feel privileged to have spent the last 2.5 yrs in Tehran as Ambassador of our Republic. It has been an honour to commingle and serve my President, Country and the People of South Africa at this level. I have no doubt that as the world continues to evolve, and systemic winds of change sweep our globe, climate change takes centre stage, and political realignments re-emerge, we shall see a better world for all dedicated to shared development and common solutions. 

May we all play our role in minimizing and eventually eliminating the pandemic. 

 For now the new normal is here and let’s embrace it! 

 Thank You,

Vika M Khumalo

Embassy of the Republic of South Africa
Islamic Republic of Iran

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