A patriot and truly selfless servant of SA

Paying tribute to Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, international relations and cooperation minister Lindiwe Sisulu said at a time when multilateralism was under threat, his experience and wisdom would be sorely missed.
Paying tribute to Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo, international relations and cooperation minister Lindiwe Sisulu said at a time when multilateralism was under threat, his experience and wisdom would be sorely missed.
Image: Africa Insights/Twitter

We join the nation in mourning the death of South Africa's leading diplomat Dumisani Kumalo, who passed away on Sunday.

We are saddened by the loss of a man who had dedicated his whole life in serving the nation.

Kumalo was SA's permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, a position he occupied from 1999 until 2009 when the country's tenure as a non-permanent member of the Security Council came to an end.

Kumalo also held various positions within UN, including being chairperson of the Economic and Social Council Ad Hoc Advisory Groups on Guinea Bissau and Burundi, and co-chairing the establishment of the Human Rights Council among other.

This was after he had gone into exile in 1970s where he became project director at the American Committee on Africa and its sister organisation, the Africa Fund from 1979 to 1997.

According to the ANC, he played " a key role in the mobilisation of American sanctions against the racist apartheid regime.

"Kumalo's actions culminated in the racist regime being hauled to the UN Security Council in the 80s".

A true patriot, Kumalo committed his life to the Struggle for freedom during apartheid. He served as an ambassador for the country in the UN for a decade without any scandal being reported about him.

Our country is in dire need of leaders with integrity like Kumalo, taking into account that politicians and public servants are involved in brazen corruption such that being exposed at the sitting Zondo commission into state capture.

Recently, we reported on the former chief operating officer of Bosasa, a company which won government contracts worth billions of rands, Angelo Agrizzi who alleged that they were paying politicians up to R6m in bribes.

These were apparently paid in monthly instalments to different people to keep them under Bosasa's control. Some went as far as receiving monthly or annual groceries from the company, he said. This is disgusting.

It leaves us wondering if we still have honest people who can fill the shoes left by the likes of Kumalo .

We send our deepest condolences to his family and may his soul rest in peace.

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