The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa arrived in Delhi on January 25 for his first visit to the country, ahead of his attendance as chief guest on Republic Day. This makes Ramaphosa the second South African president after Nelson Mandela to be invited as the chief guest at the parade. Ramaphosa is accompanied by the First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe. Besides her, he also has a nine-member team of high ranking ministers and a contingent of businesspersons. Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri received the delegation at the airport.
A tweet from ANI showed that Ramaphosa and his team reached Rajghat to pay tributes to Mahatma Gandhi, on whom the theme for the Republic Day parade is based. According to reports, the president will receive a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. He will also be holding talks with Narendra Modi on various bilateral issues. Both Modi and Ramaphosa are scheduled to address the India-South Africa Business Forum later in the day.
The two-day visit will see Ramaphosa delivering the Gandhi-Mandel Freedom Lecture, which is organised by the Indian Council of World Affairs. India and South Africa share a deep history with each other. Mahatma Gandhi was based out of that country, before returning to India and starting the freedom movement.