Namibian President Hage Geingob has told President Cyril Ramaphosa he will be stepping down in less than two years.
“My term as the president of the Republic of Namibia, the land of the brave, is coming to an end in 22 months’ time, on March 21 2025. When I was saying that in some African countries, they were not happy. They asked why do I announce and why don’t I go and do it quietly?” he said.
Geingob used the state visit to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Thursday to also tell Ramaphosa that the past eight years of his presidency had been “extremely difficult”.
“We have a social contract with the people and if we can announce that you are there to serve and go, as President Mandela did, overstaying your welcome will actually put you into trouble. I am very happily announcing that my term and social contract with my people is ending very soon.”
But, he said, he still has two more years to go. “Don’t worry.”
Ramaphosa told Geingob, who is the incumbent Sadc chair on politics, defence and security co-operation, that too many years had passed since the last state visit to South Africa by Namibia, in November 2012.
During the state visit a tourism memorandum of understanding was signed.
The purpose of the visit was to strengthen bilateral relations, enhance economic co-operation, explore trade and investment, as well as identify new areas of co-operation, the Presidency said.
In a joint statement the presidents said during their official talks they exchanged views on broad areas of co-operation and evaluated progress made in the implementation of decisions and legal instruments.
“They paid special attention to the status of trade between the two countries and agreed that although the countries are each other’s largest trading partners in the region, more can still be done for mutual benefit in this purview.”
On regional issues, “They appraised each other on four economic, political and security situations in the region, particularly the developments in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Eswatini and Lesotho, as well as in the Cabo Delgado province of Mozambique.”
They noted the ongoing regional efforts to help resolve the long-standing conflict in the eastern DRC.
“They reiterated their support and called for the Luanda and the Nairobi processes to be effectively co-ordinated, and that resultant commitments are adhered to by all parties.”
The presidents wished the people of Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Madagascar successful elections, scheduled to take place this year.
On Sudan, they expressed “grave concern on the mounting civilian deaths in Sudan and called on all parties to the conflict to respect human life and avoid destruction of livelihoods. They called on the conflicting parties to find amicable solutions in dealing with their differences”.
They repeated calls for the full implementation of the final declaration, which among other things called for the implementation of all UN General Assembly, UN Security Council resolutions and AU decisions, with the aim of holding free and fair elections in Western Sahara.
They also reaffirmed the two countries’ solidarity with the people of Palestine. “They reiterated their long-standing, unequivocal call for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to independently coexist with the State of Israel, in line with the relevant UN resolutions.”
On the reform of the UN Security Council, Ramaphosa and Geingob reaffirmed their countries’ position that its outdated composition and lack of permanent representation of Africa are unsustainable.
The presidents agreed that for the council to remain relevant and legitimate, it must be reformed urgently to reflect global realities.
On the war in Ukraine, they urged the international community to contribute to the immediate de-escalation and to avoid taking further counterproductive measures that will inflame the situation.
Source : TimesLive