South African President Jacob Zuma will Tuesday receive a major award from the Malaysian government on behalf of ailing global icon Nelson Mandela, who remains in a critical condition in a Pretoria hospital.
According to presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj, President Zuma, who is undertaking an official visit aimed at boosting social, political and economic ties with Malaysia, will receive the Lifetime Award for Global Peace from the Mahathir Global Peace Foundation.
The two countries enjoy warm, political social and economic relations.
Malaysia was one of apartheid South Africa’s most vocal critics in Asia, and traditionally maintained close ties with the African National Congress (ANC).
Malaysia lifted people-to-people sanctions against South Africa at the end of 1991 and a liaison Office was established in Pretoria towards the end of 1992.
Full diplomatic relations were established in 1993 and the South African High Commission in Kuala Lumpur was opened in 1994.
President Zuma’s visit celebrates the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and a free democratic South Africa.