December 2012
What's Ahead

The embassy, in temporary quarters while the chancery is renovated, returns to Massachusetts Avenue in May.

 

Outside will stand the statue of Nelson Mandela pictured above, across the street from the British Embassy's Winston Churchill.

 

The target date for the unveiling ceremony is May 10, the 19th anniversary of Mandela's inauguration as South Africa's first universal suffrage president.

 

Team SA is looking to  formalise linkages with and between the various US-SA business chambers and related initiatives in the coming year.

 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its best foreign picture nominees on Jan 10.

 

South Africa is hoping its official entry, Darrell Roodt's "Little One", will make the cut. Team SA's Kim Jawanda, the Department of Arts and Culture's new US rep, is assisting the campaign.

 

 

Triggerfish, South Africa's answer to Pixar and Disney, is up for two Annies, the animation world's Oscar equivalent, for its feature, Adventures in Zambezia. The Los Angeles awards ceremony is on February 2.

 

Engaging SA's Diaspora

 

Reaching out to the 83,000-strong South African diaspora in the US is a top priority for the coming year, Ambassador Ebrahim Rasool said in a seasonal greeting to the community.

 

"I would say that our biggest challenge for 2013 is how to harness this energy, this resource, this wealth of talent for the good of the African continent and the South African nation."

 

The ambassador said he had "enjoyed tremendously...the warm receptions and great welcomes" he had received from the South African community since taking up his post in 2010, and was gratified by "the genuine interest in the well-being of our country and its people."

 

"We want to intensify this..." Read on.

 

Bid on a painting, build a monument to Nelson Mandela

 

 

 

Sunday Morning by David Hlongwane is one of 30 South African art works up for auction to raise funds for the statue of Nelson Mandela to be unveiled outside the South African embassy. Buy a great painting and know that you have made a contribution to what is destined to become a Washington landmark. Click here to visit the online gallery and place your bids.

 

Celebrating the Life, Legacy & Values of Nelson Mandela

Below left is the logo of the embassy's South Africa 2012 public diplomacy program which had as its central theme the life, legacy and values of Nelson Mandela.

 

The program, coinciding with the centenary of the ruling African National Congress, kicked off with a gala dinner in Washington on February 11, the day Mandela walked to freedom in 1990. Zindzi Mandela, his daughter, was the keynote speaker.

 

In March, Chief Justice Pius Langa, Adv. Dumisa Ntsebeza and other eminent South African constitutional practitioners gathered with American counterparts at Monpelier, home of US Founding Father James Madisonto discuss what the US and South African constitutions, and how they were made, could teach today's emerging democracies in the Arab world and elsewhere.

Tribute was paid to American politicians and activists who campaigned for Mandela's release and South Africa's freedom. Indiana Republican Sen. Richard Lugar and former Congressional Black Caucus members Reps. William Gray and Ron Dellums were among the recipients of specially commissioned Mandela awards at a ceremony on May 10. Singer Harry Belafonte was honoured in absentia.

 

In November, the National Press Club in Washington worked with Team SA to stage a tribute to Mandela which drew 300 members and guests. Speakers included Ambassador Rasool and a panel comprising Ed Perkins, the first African-American envoy to South Africa, and veteran South African journalists Charlene Smith and Philip Van Niekerk.

 

The Diplomacy of Ubuntu

Ambassador Rasool speaks at a September 14 conference organised by the Miami-based Cuba Study Group as part of its Reconciliation Project. Transcript here.

Mourning and finding meaning in the Marikana tragedy

A memorial service was held at Metropolitan AME church in Washington on August 23 following the tragic deaths of 44 miners and two police officers in violence on the Lonmin platinum mine at Marikana.

 

Representatives of the African Union, the SADC diplomatic corps, the State Department and the anti-apartheid movement delivered messages of condolence. Click here for the full text of Ambassador Rasool's remarks.

 

 

On May 4, the embassy will once again throw open its doors for Passport DC, giving Washingtonians a taste of South African wine, food and culture. This year's event drew 3000 visitors. For a flavour, click here.

It has been an exciting year for South African wines in the US. Wines of South Africa (WOSA), the umbrella marketing agency that promotes South Africa as a wine producing country, opened a dedicated office in New York in January and is now supporting the US market with a committed budget.  Read on.

Fabulous Farmers

Minnesota welcomed an extraordinary group of South African women entrepreneurs -- pictured below at Afton Apple Farms outside Minneapolis -- in September. The mission was organised by the Chicago consulate general and the Department of Trade and Industry. More details here.

From left to right: Sindi Sabela (Ikhwezi Farms), Rose Mote (Mote Mabuse Farming Coop Ltd), Mapula Rampedi (Rampedi Piggery), Manone Madyo (dti), Ntsiuoa Millicent Kobo (Lesitsi Family Trust), Ntombi Shangase  (dti), Donnadeliah Maluleke (SA consulate), Grace Mushwana (Madidi Free Range Eggs), Frank Femling (owner, Afton Apple Farms), Mercy Ramabuda (Sithagu Farm), Felicity Fillies (Nieuborn Ostrich Farm), Bheki Dlamini (dti), Maude Mthethwa (dti), Makgethwa Mphogo (Temohuo Consulting Agency).