Image credit: GovernmentZA under Creative Commons licence (CC BY-ND 2.0).

Former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ambassador Lindiwe Mabuza, passed away on Monday afternoon surrounded by her family.

In post in London from 2001 to 2010, Ambassador Mabuza was an exemplary diplomat who succeeded in promoting South Africa and winning new friends for the country across many fields, from business to tourism, music, literature and arts and culture. Tributes have been paid to her from around the world, to which the South African Chamber of Commerce in the UK would like to add our own.

A recurring theme of her tenure as High Commissioner was the celebration of Oliver Tambo, who had lived in exile in the UK during his many years of campaigning for a free, non-racial, democratic South Africa.

The current South African High Commissioner to the UK, and daughter of Oliver Tambo, Nomatemba Tambo said in a moving tribute on the SA High Commission’s website that;

She had the gift of bringing people together. She had the gift of polishing rough diamonds until they themselves knew how brightly they shone. People loved her, as did I. Very much.

Her smile was irresistible. Loyalty was something she treasured in others and stood by steadfastly herself. 

Aunt Lindiwe will be greatly missed. We all say that about those we know who have passed on and they are, but for me, I feel as if the air we breathe is a little heavier.”

John Battersby, long-time member of the Chamber, a former Chamber Director, and during Ambassador Mabuza’s tenure as High Commissioner, Country Head of Brand South Africa, said today that “her passion for the liberation of South Africa and upliftment of her people found expression in her moving anthologies of poetry and her involvement in cultural conferences in Sweden and around the world.

I always found her to be passionate and sincere leader who brought great dignity to her role and to the country and who supported the arts and South African artists in a most dedicated and generous way.

The South African Chamber of Commerce UK extends its condolences to all who knew Ambassador Mabuza, she will be greatly missed.

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