Fri. Jul 12th, 2024

President Ramaphosa’s will be the first state visit for King Charles III since the latter’s ascension to the throne in September.

King Charles III will welcome South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to the United Kingdom for three days of high-level talks next month, the first such visit since the monarch succeeded his late mother Queen Elizabeth II last month.

In a statement on Monday, Buckingham Palace announced that Ramaphosa has accepted Charles’s invitation for a state visit from November 22 to 24.

The South African leader will be accompanied by First Lady Tshepo Motsepe.

South Africa is a member of the Commonwealth, a political association of 56 countries, mostly former British colonies.

Ramaphosa’s predecessors Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki and Jacob Zuma, the other presidents the country has had since its first multi-ethnic elections in April 1994, have also previously made state visits to the UK.

While still the prince of Wales and the duchess of Cornwall, Charles and Camilla, the queen consort, welcomed former South African President Jacob Zuma to the UK at the start of a state visit in 2010.

The new monarch has visited South Africa on several occasions since 1997. At Mandela’s funeral in 2013, he said the world would be a “poorer place” without the man who led South Africa’s transition from apartheid to multi-ethnic democracy, adding that Mandela was owed “an enormous debt of gratitude” for his achievements.

The visit comes as Ramaphosa faces a huge scandal back at home. Arthur Fraser, the former head of the country’s spy agency has accused the president of kidnapping, bribery, money laundering, and “concealing a crime” in relation to the alleged theft of $4m in cash found at his Phala Phala game ranch in northern South Africa.

The country’s parliament has opened investigations into the matter and Ramaphosa could face an impeachment vote in the coming weeks.

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By Joy

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