South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is at the SADC Summit in Nambia, has expressed his sadness at the passing of Kofi Annan.
Annan has died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness aged 80.
Annan was the UN Secretary-General between 1997 to 2006. He was also a chair of the group of elders set up by former president, Nelson Mandela.
Meanwhile, the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Sello Hatang, has also expressed his deep sadness at Annan’s passing.
“You will remember that we hosted Annan just about two weeks ago during the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture and one is saddened because whenever we called on him to participate on any of our programmes he was the first one to raise his hand,” says Hatang.
“He also gave the Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture as one of the speakers… He was one of those that were selected by Madiba himself to participate.”
Kofi Annan: key dates
Key dates in the life of former UN chief and Nobel peace laureate Kofi Annan, the first black man to head the world body.
– April 8, 1938: Born in the Ghanaian city of Kumasi to an aristocratic family from the Fante tribe.
– 1962: After studying economics in Geneva he joined the World Health Organization and went to work in a number of other UN bodies including the UN refugee agency.
– 1972: Annan obtained a master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
– 1993-96: He served deputy head of UN peacekeeping, during the Rwandan genocide and the war in Bosnia.
– January 1, 1997: He became UN secretary general, the first from within the organisation and the first from sub-Saharan Africa. He was re-elected for a second five-year term in June 2001.
– October 12, 2001: Annan and the United Nations were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
– 2005: He became embroiled in a corruption scandal over the UN oil-for-food programme in Iraq. He was later cleared of any wrongdoing.
– 2007: He became a founding member of The Elders, a group of statesmen who speak out on global issues. He also set up the Kofi Annan Foundation which says it aims to promote better global governance and work for peace.
– February 2012: Annan is chosen by the United Nations and the Arab League to mediate in the Syrian war, but he throws in the towel five moths later.
– August 18, 2018: Annan dies in Switzerland after a short illness.