South Africa’s Ambassador to Senegal Lenin Shope dies at home

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Updated: March 7, 2021

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his sadness at the recent passing of South Africa’s Ambassador to Senegal Lenin Magigwane Shope.

Ambassador Shope passed away at his official residence in Dakar, Senegal, earlier this week.

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President Ramaphosa offered his sincere condolences to Ambassador Shope’s mother, Ma Gertude Shope, a struggle stalwart who spent many years in exile, became President of the ANC Women’s League and served as a member of South Africa’s first democratic Parliament.

“President Ramaphosa’s thoughts are also with Ambassador Shope’s siblings, Ms Lyndall Shope-Mafole and South African Ambassador to Cuba Ms Thaninga Shope-Linney. Their father was the late trade unionist, freedom fighter and revolutionary intellectual Mark Shope,” the presidency said in a statement.

Ambassador Lenin Shope himself 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.

President Ramaphosa said: “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.”

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