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ANC sends its condolences to the people of Botswana on the passing of President Ketumile Masire

23 June 2017

The African National Congress has learned with sadness of the passing of a country friend, Comrade, and former President of the Republic of Botswana, Sir Ketumile Masire, at the age of 91, yesterday, 22 June 2017.

A democrat, Sir Masire was instrumental in the formation of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), and served as its first Secretary General in the 1960s. Sir Masire was elected President of the Republic of Botswana in 1980 and served as the President until 1998. A unifier and African leader, President Masire served as a chairman of the Southern African Development Community and vice chairman of the Organisation of African Unity.

Recognising the important role that the people of Botswana, led by President Masire, played in the liberation of the people of South Africa, President Nelson Mandela said, in 1995, "As neighbours, we are bound by a common border, by history and by ties of culture and language. For many of our people, each other's country is a second home. For all these reasons, we share beliefs and aspirations, and most importantly a commitment to freedom, justice and respect for human dignity"

Indeed, South Africa, the SADC Region, and Africa at large, has lost a leader, a democrat, and an architect of Africa's economic and infrastructural growth. We send out deepest condolences to the family of Sir Masire, the Botswana Democratic Party, and the people of Botswana at large. As we mourn the passing of President Masire, we are remain by his contribution to the liberation and development of Botswana, the SADC Region, and the African continent. We will continue learning from his work as we charge towards prosperity of Africa and its people.

Issued by the African National Congress

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