Photo (Left-Right) Ambassador of Poland, Andrzej Kanthak, Miss South Africa 2021 Lalela Mswane and Minister of Social Development Hon. Lindiwe Zulu

16 May 2022

On May 5, 2022, the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Pretoria solemnly celebrated the National Day of the 3 May Constitution. On 3 May 1791, Poland adopted the first constitution in Europe and the second in the world. It reflected the ideals of enlightenment, law, freedoms and religious tolerance, becoming one of the most significant symbols of Polish statehood and independence.

Among the invited guests were the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, representatives of South African government institutions, including the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), heads and members of the local diplomatic corps, South African media, representatives of think-tanks, non-governmental and social organizations, academia, business and clergy, as well as the Polish diaspora. Miss South Africa, Lalela Mswane, was also among the invited guests. Lalela is heading to Poland in July to represent South Africa at the Miss Supranational event.

The ceremony began with a moment of silence in honour of the victims of the war waged by Russia against Ukraine, as well as the performance of the Polish and South African national anthems. Ambassador Andrzej Kanthak delivered a speech in which he pointed to the strong ties and similarities between Poland and the Republic of South Africa. Kanthak spoke about the past, identity and independence of both countries, as well as the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries. He also referred to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, the dramatic situation prevailing in a war-torn neighbour country, the humanitarian crisis, millions of refugees and the aid provided to Ukraine by Poland.

The guest of honour, Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, spoke on behalf of the South African authorities. In her speech, Zulu emphasized the dynamically developing political and economic partnership between Poland and the Republic of South Africa. The Minister also pointed to the importance of educating children and youth, making them aware of their potential and awakening their awareness, which will have an impact on our common future. The guest of honour also congratulated Poland on the adoption of the 3 May Constitution and emphasized the importance of this event.

After the official part of the ceremony, guests had the opportunity to view the exhibition “Trails of Hope. The Odyssey of Freedom” prepared by the Institute of National Remembrance. The exhibition commemorates the fate of hundreds of thousands of Poles who fought for the independence of Poland. The exhibition also presents the fate of many Polish refugees who were hospitably received on the African continent. The gathered guests also welcomed the performance of the South African children from the Mary Immaculate Nursery School in Johannesburg, run by Polish nuns from the Congregation of the Sisters Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Lyndhurst and the South African band Anything Goes Duo.

Embassy of Poland in South Africa




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