President hails Kumalo as consummate diplomat

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the late longstanding diplomat and activist, Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, who passed away on Sunday.

Expressing condolences in a statement on Monday, President Ramaphosa described Kumalo as an outstanding patriot, activist and consummate diplomat.

Kumalo served as South Africa’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) in New York from 1999 to 2009, a period during which he represented South Africa during its first tenure on the UN Security Council from 2007-2008.

He also served as 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. 

As an anti-apartheid campaigner, Kumalo played an influential role in the process that led to the UN’s declaration of apartheid as a crime against humanity.

“South Africa and the international community shares this great loss with the family and friends of Ambassador Kumalo. We will remember this outstanding patriot, activist and consummate diplomat for influencing and guiding the global debate on apartheid and for asserting South Africa’s role in the global community during the early years of our democracy," President Ramaphosa said. 

He thanked Kumalo for his passion for South Africa, saying he was instrumental in the country’s transition from a pariah state to a partner in the international community.

“Ambassador Kumalo flew the flag not just for his own country, but for the SADC region, Africa and the nations of the Global South. He also championed the cause of building a multilateral system of global governance that would advance inclusion, fairness and peace among the nations of the world. 

“His dedication and tenacity has ensured that South Africans and people around the world live in a better world today,” said the President. –