King Charles to host President of South Africa for first state visit

The visit was reportedly in the early stages of planning before the queen's death in September

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa signs a book of condolence at Lancaster House in London on September 18, after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. PA
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The President of South Africa and his wife will travel to the UK next month to be hosted by King Charles III, marking his first state visit as monarch.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Tshepo Motsepe have accepted the invitation to attend Buckingham Palace in November.

Mr Ramaphosa’s visit will take place from November 22 to 24 and be hosted by King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at Buckingham Palace.

It is understood that the visit was in the early stages of planning before the queen’s death in September.

The king has visited South Africa several times since his first tour of the country, which included Pretoria, Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, in 1997.

His last trip was in 2011, when along with the Queen Consort, then the Duchess of Cornwall, he attended events including a speech on climate change at the University of Cape Town and a visit to the Black Rhino Range expansion project in Phinda Game Reserve.

They also attended the Nelson Mandela Foundation, where they were received by Graca Machel, the former president’s widow.

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King Charles was also at Mandela’s funeral in 2013, remarking that the world would be a “poorer place without him” and that he was owed “an enormous debt of gratitude for what he’s managed to achieve with his life”.

The king and the queen consort, then the prince of Wales and duchess of Cornwall, also welcomed President Jacob Zuma at the start of a state visit in the UK in 2010.

Mr Ramaphosa is facing allegations of money laundering that threaten his position at the head of Africa’s most developed economy.

He has denied the accusations, which include illegally holding about $4 million in cash at his game ranch in northern South Africa, and covering up its theft to try to hide the existence of the money.

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Updated: October 03, 2022, 3:49 AM