Oxford University reflects on SA’s freedom journey

24 April 2014

Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe will deliver the keynote address at a high-level academic conference reflecting on South Africa’s first 20 years of democracy at Oxford University in the UK on Friday.

The two-day event will be preceded on Thursday evening by a special performance of Matthew Hahn’s The Robben Island Bible, with a post-performance reception sponsored by Brand South Africa.

Friday will open with a series of panel discussions, followed by Motlanthe’s address in the afternoon, and in the evening a plenary session involving Wits University vice- chancellor Professor Adam Habib, political analyst and commentator Professor Xolela Mangcu, former Constitutional Court judge Kate O’Regan and former leader of the opposition Tony Leon.

The plenary will be chaired by award-winning South African writer and scholar Jonny Steinberg.

Further panels, including sessions looking at the African National Congress (ANC) in power and South Africa’s upcoming national election, will take place on Saturday, along with a number of new book launches.

Motlanthe on working visit to UK

Deputy President Motlanthe, who kicked off a four-day working visit to the UK on Wednesday, will also be the guest of honour at the South African High Commission’s Freedom Day reception.

He is also expected to engage with high-level business people, as well as attend a meeting with representatives of the South African Diaspora during his visit.

According to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, South Africa and the United Kingdom “have long-standing historic relations that cover a wide spectrum and have a far-reaching impact.

“The United Kingdom is one of the important sources of foreign direct investment into South Africa from Europe, with total investment for the period January 2009 to June 2012 at R44.3-billion,” the department said in a statement on Tuesday.

“In 2012, the United Kingdom was South Africa’s seventh-largest export market. It also continues to be one of the important sources of long-haul tourists to South Africa.”

SAinfo reporter