The South African Embassy in Portugal hosted an official delegation from the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature from 13 to 19 November 2011

The Legislature is an important tool of provincial government in South Africa, aiming at deepening democracy, effective public participation and efficient lawmaking.

The study tour entailed the establishment of a network with relevant local authorities in Portugal and the understanding of its structures of local government and projects. For that purpose, the twelve member delegation visited the Municipalities of Gaia (third biggest municipality, North region), Maia (important industrial municipality in the North of Portugal), Guimarães (historical municipality-the cradle of Portugal), Coimbra and Lisbon (capital and biggest municipality). The delegation was also received by the Vice-Rector of the University of Coimbra, the oldest academic institution in Portugal and one of the oldest in Europe. The last part of the visit entailed a visit to the Parliament where the delegates interacted with the Portuguese MPs: Mr Laurentino Dias (former Secretary of State for Sport), Mr Fernando de Jesus (PS, Socialist Party, leading opposition party) and Mr Leitão Amaro (PSD, Social Democrat Party, ruling party) who will both be attending the COP 17 Conference taking place in Durban from 28 November to 9 December 2011.

Ambassador KST Matthews and Ms GN Swaartbooi, Chairman of the Portfolio Committee (first row, centre) with the KZN Legislature delegation and Embassy staff at Chancery

Embassy hosts Academia Ubuntu


On 11 November 2011, the staff of the South African Embassy had a wonderful get-to-gether with participants in the Academia Ubuntu, a programme to teach leadership skills to young people of African origin, which culminated in a week-long visit to South Africa last September.  Following a lunch which combined South African wors, pap, chakalaka, koeksisters and milk tart with São Martinho´s typical chouriço, caldo verde, chestnuts and água pé, the staff had the opportunity to view a photo presentation and video of the Academia Ubuntu’s visit to the Western Cape, which took them to places such as District Six Museum, Slave Lodge Museum, Castle of Good Hope, Guguletu, Cape Point and Robben Island, where they also spent a night. 


 In South Africa, the group of 20 participants was generously hosted by the family of Professor John Volmink, who among other things is the President of the Cornerstone Institute – Christian Higher Education for Leadership in Africa.  With the continued support of Portugal’s Gulbenkian Foundation, the Academia Ubuntu plans to go on working with this marvelous group of young people who certainly deserve to be supported in their efforts to become leaders in their respective communities and fields of work.  The Embassy wishes them much success!


Rui Nunes da Silva from the Academia Ubuntu hands First Secretary,

Rudolph Stroebel, some souvenirs of the Academy's year-long experience




Embassy staff with participants of the Academia Ubuntu

South Africa Embassy attended Portugal Exportador 2011


On 13 October 2011, at the invitation of AIP, South African Embassy participated for the fourth time in Portugal Exportador.Mr. N. Sifuba, Second Secretary Trade and Tourism attended the event and held several meetings with Portuguese businesspeople interested in developing trade and investment relations in the South African market. Agro-industry, IT and food were some of the sectors of interest. The Mission’s active interaction with AIP and participation at this event makes part of Mission’s strategy to promote the trade relations between the two countries as a stepping stone to future Portuguese investment in South Africa.



Mr Sifuba in a business meeting

Mr Sifuba in a business meeting with a Portuguese company



South African Embassy was Guest Speaker at XIII National Congress of Portuguese Freight Forwarders Association



On 1st October 2011, at the invitation of APAT (Portuguese Freight Forwarders Association), Mr N Sifuba, Second Secretary for Trade & Tourism was a guest speaker at the National Congress of the Association in Tróia, Setúbal. The Voice of Internationalisation was the theme of the panel and Mr Sifuba made a presentation on the South African market: economic background, international and bilateral trade relations and the transport sector. The pannel had also the participation of the Embassy of Algeria, a consultant of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce and of AICEP, the Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency.



Presentation at AIDA- Aveiro Business Association: “South Africa: a dynamic market”



On 27 September 2011, at the invitation of AIDA, Aveiro Business Association, Ambassador K. Matthews and Mr. N. Sifuba, Second Secretary Trade and Tourism, made a presentation on the business environment and opportunities in the South African market. The seminar, attended by more than 30 local businessmen, was a follow up on contacts already developed further to a multi-sectorial business delegation that visited South Africa in 2010. The seminar was hosted by Mr. Paulo Leite, director at AIDA and AICEP-Portuguese Trade & Investment Agency was also a speaker at the event.


From left to right: Ms C Rodrigues, South African Embassy ; Mr N Sifuba, Second Secretary Trade & Tourism, South African Embassy; Mr P Leite, Director, AIDA ; Ambassador K Matthews, South African Embassy; Mr F Gonçalves, AICEP.




French film, "Vénus Noire", based on the life of Saartjie Baartman, debuts in Portugal

Vénus Noire is a 2010 French drama film directed by Abdellatif Kechiche.  It is based on the life of Saartjie (Sarah) Baartman, a Khoikhoi woman who in the early 19th century was exhibited in Europe under the name "Hottentot Venus".  The film was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.  The film debuts in Portugal on 18 August 2011 (see details below).


Paris, 1817, within the Académie Royale de Médecine. “I’ve never seen a human head that so closely resembles a monkey’s.” Anatomist Georges Cuvier is categorical when looking at the cast made of Saartjie Baartman’s body. A panel of distinguished colleagues applauds the demonstration. Seven years earlier, Saartjie left South Africa with her master Caezar and was exhibited to the London public in carnival freakshows. A free and fettered woman, she was the icon of the lower depths, the “Hottentot Venus” promised the mirage of a glittering rise in the world…

With: Yahima Torres, André Jacobs, Olivier Gourmet, Elina Löwensöhn, François Marthouret, Michel Gionti, Jean-Christophe Bouvet, Violaine Gillibert, Olivier Loustau




Daily: 14h30; 18h15; 21h30





Daily: 13h00; 16h00; 19h00; 22h00




In 1994, then President Nelson Mandela suggested that Saartjei Baartman’s remains be brought from France back to South Africa. In January 2002, her remains were finally returned and buried on a hill in the GamtoosRiverValley in the Eastern Cape, the place of her birth.   She was laid to rest on Women’s Day, August 9, 2002, more than two-hundred years after her birth.  

Saartjie Baartman became an icon in South Africa as a representative of many aspects of the nation’s history.   The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children opened in Cape Town in 1999.   This centre is a refuge for survivors of domestic violence (http://www.saartjiebaartmancentre.org.za).   South Africa’s very first offshore environmental protection vessel ‘the Sarah Baartman’ is also named after her.  

Read more: http://www.southafrica.info/about/history/saartjie.htm#ixzz1VODOJXPo



Nelson Mandela Day Fundraising Dinner held on 18 July 2011


Mr. Tito Mboweni, Chairman of the Fundraising Committee of the
Mandela Children's Fund

The South African Embassy, in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund, organized a dinner to raise funds for the construction of the future Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital.

The event took place at the Pestana Palace Hotel, in Lisbon, on 18 July 2011, coinciding with Nelson Mandela's 93rd birthday.  The Chairman of the Fundraising Committee is Mr. Tito Mboweni, the former Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, delivered the keynote address on behalf of the fund.


Ambassador Matthews with Mr Tito Mboweni and Ms Maria João Silveira from RTP Africa, who co-hosted the event

One of Nelson Mandela's wishes has been that South Africa should be able to offer the children of South Africa, Southern Africa, and indeed Africa, a state of the art children's hospital.  It is his belief that such an institution must be of the highest excellence in standards and care, focus on specialist paediatric medicine and training, receive academic and tertiary referrals, be child centered and provide medical services to children across Africa irrespective of their social and economic status.

The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund as an institution and Mrs. Graça Machel (Chairperson - Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust) were personally entrusted to materialize Nelson Mandela's wish.

The Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital Trust, through the assistance of the South African Embassy in Portugal, has formed a strategic partnership with the São João Hospital's Children Wing.

Special video messages from Mr. Nelson Mandela and Mrs. Graça Machel were shown to guests at the dinner.

A lithograph depicting Nelson Mandela delivering his first speech in 27 years on the day of his release from prison on 11 February 1990, by documentary photographer and artist Chris Ledochowski, was also auctioned as well as two books on Nelson Mandela.

Guests were entertained by the talented 8-year-old South African drummer, Daniel Petersen III, by Cape Verde's Celina Pereira and Mozambique's Vânia Oliveira.

The Embassy wishes to thank the sponsors of the event:

Nelson Mandela's Children Fund

Banco Espírito Santo (BES)

Hotel Pestana Palace

Bacalhôa - Vinhos de Portugal

Franco Caiado Guerreiro e Associados

Editora Objectiva

PMP - Produção de  Eventos


Mordomo à Medida


South Africa was Guest Country at Lisbon's International Crafts Fair (FIA)


For the third consecutive year, a delegation of 18 crafters traveled from South Africa to participate in Lisbon’s International Crafts Fair (FIA), at the FIL (Parque das Nações), from 25 June to 3 July 2011.The crafters, selected by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), represented the diversity and wealth of South African craft works.Within the South African government’s goal of creating better living conditions for all of its population, these crafters are integrated in NGOs or small cooperatives or companies that offer employment opportunities, training and new markets for their products.



                   The crafters sang and danced for FIA visitors on South Africa Day at the fair



               Ambassador Matthews and Mr Nathi Sifuba at the South Africa Day cocktail