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Meet South Africa's First Family
As I glanced through the brief on the Indian Republic's 70th parade, I found that the present President of South Africa will be our chief guest. Fine indeed, Nelson Mandela, a freedom fighter and man of grit and determination was the first South African President to be the Chief Guest of the Indian Republic Day parade.

I delved deep into records and hit on Your Family Magazine, published from South Africa and has both White and Black women of letters on the editorial board. I am glad to say that I found authentic material on the First Family of South Africa. I am using that in the present write up as seen from Indian eyes.

The fifth Black President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has an impressive personality as a freedom fighter and the First Citizen. Nelson Mandela downwards the present administration of South Africa has managed affairs of State well. After a long rule of the White minority and incarceration of Black leaders and masses, when the process of transfer of power commenced in the 1990s and the first Black President was sworn in, in 1994, the affairs of state were quite peaceful There were no large scale riots, rapes or robbery. Of course, a few incidents here and there cannot be categorized as a general rule but only as exceptions.

I learnt that there are one point five million Indians who have adopted South Africa as their home. They did not rise in a mass revolt against the minority White rule or their Apartheid policy but remained as passive watchers on the sidelines. One wonders why? When Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi led his peaceful Satyagrah, NON-VIOLENT PEACEFUL AGITATION FOR truth, against the atrocities of the then rulers, Indians of all faiths were quite active. Thereafter, they were almost leaderless and failed to find their moorings. Indeed the common Indian community settled there did carry on with their day to day life with some hiccups here and there.

Back to New Delhi, capital of India, that is Bharat. We are celebrating our 70th Republic Day Parade on 26 Jan 19. A great day indeed. Mr Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa will be our Chief Guest. The First Lady of South Africa, Dr Tshepo Motsape-Ramaphosa, will accompany her darling husband and father of their three children. Let us know them more closely.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is a freedom fighter and was closely associated with Nelson Mandela in their struggle against Apartheid and White minority rule. As is known to us, Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years on an island where he could not communicate with any other human being. President Cyril Ramaphosa was also tried and sentenced to solitary imprisonment twice; 11 months first time and six months second time. He did not give up and today has reached the pinnacle of his political career. He is humane and does not suffer from the psychological feeling of Revenge against those who had tortured him.

President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by a large delegation comprising 9 ministers, 50 businessmen and other political leaders. His visit will strengthen the existing friendly ties between India and South Africa. He will address a large gathering under forum of Gandhi-Mandela Freedom Fighters. Trade talks between the two delegations will bolster trade and commerce between the two nations, it is hoped.

The official visit of the First Lady of South Africa, Dr Tshepo Motsepe- Ramaphosa, will indeed generate a lot of interest among the women folk in India about health and hygiene of both women and children. The First Lady is not only a doctor, a mother of three children but a leading social worker providing free health care to the destitute and the downtrodden.

The First Lady is a Patron of an institute ASHA, an institution run by African Self-Help Trust. By the way, the word ASHA in Hindi (national language of India) means Hope. The First Lady provides a ray of hope to those who feel that life is Hopeless.

We look forward to better and closer ties between India and South Africa.

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