The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Jacob Zuma, has on behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, conveyed a message of condolences to the government and the people of Cuba, following the passing on of former President Fidel Castro.
President Zuma said Castro, who died aged 90, led the Cuban Revolution and dedicated his entire life not only to the freedom of the Cuban people and the right of the Cuban state to sovereignty and self-determination, but also the freedom of other oppressed people around the world.
“President Castro identified with our struggle against apartheid. He inspired the Cuban people to join us in our own struggle against apartheid. The Cuban people, under the leadership and command of President Castro, joined us in our struggle against apartheid,” said President Zuma.
After South Africa gained freedom in 1994, Cuba and South Africa, under Presidents Castro and Mandela respectively, formed a strong bond of solidarity and friendship. “As a way of paying homage to the memory of President Castro, the strong bonds of solidarity, cooperation and friendship that exist between South Africa and Cuba must be maintained and nurtured.”
President Zuma said the people of South Africa share the loss of the Cuban people and stand with them in this time of grief and mourning.