Calling the Centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC) “a moving moment for all those across the world who cherish human dignity and freedom”, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has said that economic engagement between the two countries have demonstrated dynamism in recent years and India and South Africa have coordinated their positions on many complex global issues. In a message to the President Jacob Zuma of South Africa the Prime Minister wrote “the dawn of 21st century has seen a dramatic shift in global, economic and political architecture and in the emerging paradigm, countries of the South are increasingly being called to play a much larger role. …today we (India and South Africa) share the same table at United Nations Security Council and G-20 and we are partners in IBSA and BRICS.”
Shri Anand Sharma, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Textiles, who is heading the Indian delegation to the Centenary celebrations of the African National Congress (ANC) in the South African city of Mangaung (Bloemfontein) called on President Jacob Zuma, who is also the President of the ANC, yesterday and personally handed over the message of the Prime Minister along with the message of the and President of the Indian National Congress (INC), Smt. Sonia Gandhi. Smt Gandhi recalled the shared past and shared national heroes by the two countries. She recalled Mahatama Gandhi’s 22 year stay in South Africa where he shaped his philosophy of Satyagrah and Non-violence. She also noted that the “leadership of Madiba (President Nelson Mandela) provided the moral anchor and the healing touch during the reconciliation process which was the emergence of a rainbow nation.” She thanked President Zuma for his invitation to join the celebrations and informed him that the India is represented by a senior leadership delegation, comprising of those who have been proactively engaged with struggle against apartheid, as mark of respect and solidarity.
President Zuma thanked Minister Sharma for the messages and stated that the ANC and the Indian National Congress shared historic and fraternal links forged over many years of struggle for freedom and justice. Minister Sharma stressed the continuing importance India attaches to the bilateral relationship between India and South Africa, and noted that the close party to party relations between the ANC and INC were a special facet of the overall bilateral relationship between the two countries.