South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest at Republic Day 2019. The parade will commence with the laying of a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at Indian Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The 90-minute parade will see 22 larger than life tableaux around the theme Mahatma Gandhi, performances by school students and others. To grace the celebrations, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa accompanied by first lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe and a high-level delegation including nine ministers, senior officials and a 50-member business contingent will have a two-day India visit. It will be Ramaphosa’s first India tour as the head of the state.
After Nelson Mandela, he is the second President of South Africa to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. In 2018, leaders from the 10 ASEAN nations – Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei – were the chief guests at Republic Day celebration.
Ahead of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s India visit, we bring to you 10 things to know about him.
- Born on November 17, 1952, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa is the fifth and current President, who earlier served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 2014 to 2018. He was also an anti-apartheid activist, businessman, and trade union leader.
- His father Samuel Ramaphosa is a retired policeman. Ramaphosa married Tshepo Motsepe, the sister of South Africa’s richest black businessman, Patrice Motsepe.
- He is one of South Africa’s richest men.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here and invited him to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations next year, which also marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.
The South African leader accepted the invitation to grace the occasion. “Glad to have met President @CyrilRamaphosa. At a time when India is marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it is our honour to welcome President Ramaphosa as the Chief Guest for the 2019 Republic Day celebrations. Bapu’s close link with South Africa is well known,” Modi tweeted after the meeting.