South Africa’s new envoy to Rwanda presents credentials

By IGIHE
On 4 December 2020 at 05:55

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Vincent Biruta has received High Commissioner-Designate Mandisi Bongani Mabuto Mpahlwa of the Republic of South Africa to Rwanda, for the presentation of his credentials. The post has been vacant for two years.

In December 2018, South Africa summoned George Nkosinati Twala who was representing South Africa to Rwanda after completing his term.

The recalling came two days after tensions triggered by allegations that Rwanda spoke ill of the then South Africa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Towards the end of last year, South Africa designated Mandisi Mpahlwa, 60, as the new ambassador to Rwanda.

Following the presentation of credentials to Dr Biruta, the designated envoy will also present his letters of credence to President Paul Kagame.

According to a message posted on twitter account by Rwanda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ‘This was an occasion to discuss ways to further strengthen bilateral relations’.

Mpahlwa has been representing South Africa to Mozambique where he completed his term this year.

He once served as the Minister of Trade and Industry and held different top positions in South Africa since 2004.

In October 2019, President Paul Kagame received Jeff Radebe, a special envoy from the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. Later on, both head of states met on the sidelines of Russia, Africa Summit in Sochi where they held discussions.

In July 2019, Rwanda replaced Vincent Karega, former ambassador to South Africa by Eugène Kayihura. Vincent Karega had held the position for eight years.

South Africa granted refuge to Kayumba Nyamwasa, the head of RNC terror group and P5, a coalition of political parties intending to destabilize Rwanda’s security.

Speaking to IGIHE during a past interview before leaving Rwanda in February last year, Twala revealed that South Africa once wanted to extradite Kayumba Nyamwasa and his colleagues to other countries but didn’t demonstrated willingness to accommodate them.

He however explained that they could not extradite them to Rwanda because of treaties regarding the status of protecting refugees the country signed with UN.

In March 2018, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the problem of Rwandans being denied visas to South Africa would soon become history after holding talks with President Paul Kagame. However, up to now, Rwandans still struggle to get visa to travel to South Africa.

Rwanda has at different times explained that actions of convicted people or fugitives should not blur bilateral relations.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Vincent Biruta has received High Commissioner-Designate Mandisi Bongani Mabuto Mpahlwa of the Republic of South Africa to Rwanda, for the presentation of his credentials.

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