Maharaj, Nhlapo join the Presidency

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has appointed South African Ambassador to the United States Welile Nhlapo and former Member of Parliament Mac Maharaj as National Security Special Adviser and Special Envoy respectively.

In a statement released on Friday, the Presidency said it would be strengthened by the appointments describing both Mahaj and Nhlapo as individuals who have extensive experience, expertise and knowledge.

Nhlapo has previously served as Special Envoy to Burundi and was the head of the technical team that assisted the then Deputy President Zuma in the Burundi negotiations.

He also served as the African National Congress Chief Representative in Botswana and joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1994. In 1995, he was appointed South African Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

In 1998, he was appointed Deputy Director General responsible for Africa in the Department of Foreign Affairs and in 2001 became Head of the Presidential Support Unit which advised the Presidency on conflict situations in Africa and the Middle East.

Maharaj is a former Minister of Transport and has played a key role in the negotiation process that led the way to South Africa's first democratic elections, and was joint secretary in 1994 of the Transitional Executive Council (TEC).