President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness at the recent death of South Africa’s ambassador to Senegal, Lenin Magigwane Shope.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Presidency said ambassador Shope passed away at his official residence in Dakar, Senegal, earlier last week.
President Ramaphosa offered his sincere condolences to Shope’s mother, Ma Gertude Shope, a struggle stalwart who spent many years in exile and became ANC Women’s League President, and served as a member of South Africa’s first democratic Parliament.
President Ramaphosa also expressed his condolences to ambassador Shope’s siblings, Lyndall Shope-Mafole and South African ambassador to Cuba Thaninga Shope-Linney.
Their father was the late trade unionist, freedom fighter and revolutionary intellectual Mark Shope.
Ambassador Lenin Shope represented South Africa in Cuba during a diplomatic career in which he also served as Head of Mission in Botswana, Italy and Australia.
He was educated in Cuba from 1976 and trained as an engineer at the Technological University of Havana from 1982 to 1986.
“Our country and one of our distinguished revolutionary families have lost a son who dedicated himself to attaining our freedom and establishing and deepening the democratic South Africa’s relations with our global partners.
“His early life in Cuba shaped the world view and passion with which ambassador Shope advanced South Africa’s interests, and especially the betterment of the lives of ordinary South Africa, through his diplomatic career.
“We therefore share this loss with the government and people of Cuba who adopted the young Lenin Shope as one of their own and gifted South Africa with a disciplined cadre and outstanding patriot,” President Ramaphosa said.