Good news that the South Africa government, under President Cyril Ramaphosa has worked assiduously hard, with appropriate financial Engineering to put its National career, South Africa Airways (SAA) back in the skies from December 2021, after of few years of comatose and disengagement of thousands of its staff and beneficiaries business linkages and stakeholders.
My personal foray into South Africa, started in May 1992, two years after the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and two years before its democratically elected majority black president in 1994.
I was fortunate to have been a member of the private sector delegation of the defunct OAU (now AU) Observer team, led by the then Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Major-General Ike Nwachukwu to the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA 2).
The delegation lodged at then 5- Star Calton Hotel, down in Johannesburg City for the 4-day visit. Historically, that hotel had during the apartheid days, sadly, been for whites only. We happened to be amongst the first few set of blacks that were allowed to stay at the hotel at that time.
Other members of the OAU delegation were, Ambassador Segun Aina, Prof Alaba Ogunsanwo later Ambassador to Botswana, Major Obi Odu (Rt), later Ambassador to South Korea, Prof George Obiozor, who was then the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Professor Ukandi Damachi and a few Senior Staff of the OAU.
Dr Emeka Anyaoku, was in attendance in his capacity as the Secretary General of the Common Wealth Organization.
During the four- day CODESA 2 conference, we were hosted and interacted with such great ANC leaders like Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Thabo Mbeki (who was then like the Foreign Affairs charge-d-Affairs of the ANC), he was with us practically throughout the duration of our trip. The delegation also met FW D’Klerk and Mangosuthu Buthelezi