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Africa Insight Series: South Africa

Business luncheon with South Africa's Ambassador to the United States

Africa Insight Series: South Africa


On Monday, June 20th, 2016, the Bilateral Chamber was pleased to host Africa Insight Series, featuring a keynote address by His Excellency, Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu, South Africa’s Ambassador to the United States. His Excellency presented a candid overview of the various opportunities available for U.S. businesses looking to initiate and/or sustain business ventures in South Africa.

SA Ambassador_17H.E. Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to the United States

Ambassador Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu, commonly known as “MJ” by his colleagues and friends is the current Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to the United States of America having presented his credentials on 23 February 2015.

His public and political life started in the late 1960s when he was elected President of the Student Christian Movement, in the then Eastern Transvaal. From 1973 to 1976 he served as Assistant Secretary of the Transvaal United African Teachers Association.

He is one of the leaders who played a critical role in the processes leading up to the first democratic South Africa. Between 1991 and 1994, he was a negotiator at the Congress for Democratic South Africa (CODESA) and the Multiparty Negotiation Forum. In 1993, he became the Co-Chairperson of these bodies. From 1993 to 1994 he was a member of South Africa’s Transitional Executive Council.

After the first democratic elections in 1994, he joined the National Assembly in the Parliament of South Africa as a representative of the African National Congress. He became a member of the Constitutional Assembly (CA), the body that drafted the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. As a member of the CA, he chaired the Core Group of the Theme Committee on Chapter 4 dealing with Parliament. During his tenure as a Member of the National Assembly he also served as Chairperson of House Committees.

In 2002, he was elected Permanent Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Parliament. After the third democratic elections in 2004, he was re-elected Permanent Deputy Chairperson of the Council. In 2005 he was elected the Chairperson of the NCOP and was re-elected in 2009. He served in this position until the fifth democratic elections in 2014.

He has represented South Africa in many international platforms, including the UN and G20 Speakers Conferences. He was the leader of the South African Parliament’s delegation to the Pan-African Parliament. His duties in this continental body included serving in the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Discipline. He has held the positions of Chairperson of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (Africa Region) and President of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (International) respectively.

He is married to Nomaswazi and they are blessed with five children, two daughters and three sons.

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