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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Cyril Ramaphosa and First Lady to be first guests at a state visit hosted by Britain’s King Charles III at Buckingham Palace

Pretoria – President Cyril Ramaphosa and his wife, Tshepo Motsepe, will be hosted by Britain’s King Charles III at the first state visit since he took the reins.

A statement issued by Royal Communications on Monday morning said Ramaphosa had accepted the invitation by the British royal.

Charles and Camilla, the Queen Consort, would host the state visit at Buckingham Palace from Tuesday, November 22 to Thursday, November 24, it said.

Charles has visited South Africa, a member of the Commonwealth, on several occasions.

His first visit was to Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town from October 31 to November 5 1997, said Royal Communications.

The king and the Queen Consort visited Pretoria and Johannesburg from November 2– 6, 2011 it said.

Last month, Ramaphosa cut short his working visits to the US and the UK following growing calls for him to deal with South Africa’s power crisis, amid worsening load shedding back home.

Ramaphosa had met his American counterpart, Joe Biden, in Washington for bilateral talks, before flying to London to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Following the death of the British monarch, Ramaphosa expressed his “profound and sincere condolences” to Charles.

“Her Majesty was an extraordinary and world-renowned public figure who lived a remarkable life. Her life and legacy will be fondly remembered by many around the world,” said Ramaphosa.

“The Queen’s commitment and dedication during her 70 years on the throne remains a noble and virtuous example.”

The president said he met the queen at the last Commonwealth meeting in London in 2018, adding that they had looked at letters she was sent by former South African president Nelson Mandela, “reminiscing about the great statesman” whom she “respected enormously”.

Queen Elizabeth II, the longest-serving monarch in British history, died at Balmoral, her Scottish summer residence, after nearly a year of failing health. She was 96.

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