The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation saddened by the passing of Ambassador Lenin Shope

Media Statement

07 December 2020

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation saddened by the passing of Ambassador Lenin Shope

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, has expressed her shock and sadness at the untimely passing of South Africa’s Ambassador to Senegal, The Gambia and Cabo Verde, His Excellency Lenin Magigwane Shope.

Ambassador Shope, unfortunately, passed away at his official residence in Dakar, Senegal on 3 December 2020.

Having been born in a family, which has played an indelible role in South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, the late Ambassador Shope has served the people of South Africa all his life. Our struggle against apartheid shaped his life in a momentous way, as he was educated in Cuba, wherein he trained as an engineer at the Technological University of Havana from 1982 to 1986.

In a surprising but welcome twist of fate, he became South Africa’s Ambassador to Cuba from 2003 – 2007, wherein he elevated the South African – Cuban relations to unprecedented levels of cooperation, solidarity and brotherhood.

In his illustrious and distinguished diplomatic career, he also served our Government and people as our foremost representative in Italy from 2003 to 2008; Australia, from 2009 to 2010; Botswana, from 2010 to 2012; and Senegal, from 2017 until his passing. His untimely passing in Senegal is a huge loss to our people’s struggle for a just, equitable, peaceful world and Africa We Want as enunciated in the African Union Agenda 2063.

Minister Pandor deeply mourns the loss of this servant of the People of South Africa and has offered her deepest and sincere condolences to Ambassador Shope’s mother, Ma Gertrude Shope, his siblings, Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole and South Africa’s Ambassador to Cuba, Ms Thaninga Shope-Linney, his children, the entire Shope family and friends.

The Minister has also condoled the Officials within the Department of International Relations and Cooperation who have worked with Ambassador Shope throughout his various postings. Remarking on the passing of the late Ambassador, Minister Pandor has stated: “undoubtedly, late Ambassador Shope will be remembered as a dedicated civil servant who tirelessly traversed the globe in pursuit of South Africa’s interests, strengthening relations between South Africa and his various countries of accreditation, and his vast extensive experience in both the bilateral and multilateral fields of diplomacy.

His deep knowledge of South African and international politics enriched all who crossed his path, in both a professional and personal capacity, and his passing is a great loss to the Department”.

A robale ka Khotso.

May His Gentle Soul Rest in Peace.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974


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