Bastille Day celebration 2012
The Embassy of France hosted its 2012 Bastille Day celebrations on Friday 13 July at the Ambassador’s residence in Pretoria. Coming a day after the official inauguration of the French Season in South Africa at the Standard Bank Gallery in Johannesburg, the celebration of France’s National Day was a festive and relaxing occasion attended by the Diplomatic Corps, South African government officials along with French nationals living in South Africa, local partners, artists and business people. Minister Delegate for French Nationals Abroad, attached to the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Madame Hélène Conway-Mouret, who was in South Africa to officially inaugurate the French Season in South Africa attended the celebration along with the South African Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises, Mr Bulelani Gratitude Magwanishe, representing the South African government.
In welcoming the guests to the celebration, Ambassador Jacques Lapouge highlighted the shared importance of 2012 for France and South Africa, with France hosting two national elections and South Africa celebrating the ANC centenary. He went on to emphasize the significance of the France South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013 : “for the months to come, our great affair will be these reciprocal seasons between France and South Africa, a true celebration of friendship between our two countries”.
Speaking at the celebration, Minister Conway-Mouret stated “I could not have thought of a more symbolic occasion than the official launch of the France - South Africa seasons – the official purpose of my visit - to salute the depth our relationship has reached, almost 20 years after the end of the apartheid era” and highlighted the historical links to South Africa enjoyed by the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who received South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation just a few days after he took office in May this year.