Sunday Mail Reporter
SOUTH African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed African National Congress (ANC) national executive council member (NEC) and former Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture, Rejoice Thizwilondi Mabudafhasi, Ambassador-designate to Zimbabwe.
She will replace Ambassador Mphakama Mbete, who concluded his mission to Zimbabwe earlier this year.
This was revealed by South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Dr Naledi Pandor when she met Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava in Cape Town on Friday.
Amb Shava was on the last leg of a three-nation tour that also covered Botswana and Namibia, where he was meeting his SADC counterparts.
According to a joint statement released following the meeting, the two ministers pledged to strengthen bilateral ties between Harare and Pretoria.
“Minister Pandor welcomed the Zimbabwean delegation to South Africa and reiterated her commitment to forging stronger ties and working relations with Minister Shava,” reads the statement.
“Minister Pandor informed her Zimbabwean counterpart of the appointment of new South African head of mission to Zimbabwe, Ambassador-designate Rejoice Thizwilondi Mabudafhasi, the former Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture.”
Ms Mabudafhasi served as the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture between May 2014 and March 2017.
Prior to that, she had served as Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs for five years up to 2014.
She is a member of ANC NEC since December 2007 and has served as a chairperson of the Mvula Trust board – a local NGO involved in development of rural communities.
The two ministers agreed to convene the next round of the Bi-National Commission (BNC) in South Africa next year.
“The ministers further agreed that a Ministerial Mid-Term Review (MTR) meeting in 2021 in preparation for the BNC in 2022 would be arranged.
“The MTR would be important to assess and review in more detail the existing agreements between the two countries, those that are still under negotiations and progress on the implementation of signed ones.”