Media Statement: President Ramaphosa pays Tribute to the late Ambassador Dumisani Khumalo

21 January 2019


President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to longstanding diplomat and activist Ambassador Dumisani Khumalo who has passed away at the age of 71.


The President has extended his sincerest condolences to the family, friends and comrades of Ambassador Khumalo in South Africa and elsewhere.


Ambassador Khumalo 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.


Ambassador Khumalo also served as co-chair for the establishment of the UN Human Rights Council; and was chair at the UN of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Group of 77 plus China.


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


President Ramaphosa said: “South Africa and the international community shares this great loss with the family and friends of Ambassador Khumalo”.


“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”.


“Thanks to his passion for our country, Ambassador Khumalo was instrumental in South Africa’s transition from a Pariah state to a partner to the international community”.


“Ambassador Khumalo flew the flag not just for his own country, but for the SADC region, African 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”, concluded President Ramaphosa.


Media enquiries: Khusela Diko, Spokesperson to The President – 072 854 5707


Issued by the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa