Former SA Ambassador to the UN passes on

Monday, January 21, 2019

International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has extended her condolences and those of the department to the family and friends of Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo.

Kumalo, 71, was a former Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations. He reportedly died peacefully in his sleep at home on Sunday.

Sisulu said Kumalo has left a rich legacy as a multilateralist. 

“South Africans must celebrate the contribution Ambassador Kumalo made in the fight against apartheid during his years in exile in the United States, which culminated in the UN Security Council recognising apartheid as a crime against humanity.

“Kumalo played an important role in promoting multilateralism and a strengthened and reformed United Nations. At a time when multilateralism is under threat, his experience and wisdom will be sorely missed,” said Sisulu.

Kumalo served as a Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN in New York from 1999 to 2009. During his 10-year tour of duty, he held many prominent positions at the UN.

“He will mostly be remembered for representing South Africa during its first tenure on the UN Security Council from 2007-2008. Kumalo also served as chair of the ECOSOC-Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Guinea Bissau and Burundi; co-chair for the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council, and chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Group of 77 plus China (G77) at the United Nations,” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said.  

Kumalo will also be remembered for having mentored many young diplomats at the DIRCO head office and those deployed to the Permanent Mission to the UN in New York. 

Details of the memorial service and funeral will be communicated during the week. –