Cyril Ramaphosa to be chief guest at 2019 Republic Day parade of India

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa will be chief guest at the 2019 Republic Day parade of India. With this, Ramaphosa would become 2nd leader from his country to attend the event. Former president Nelson Mandela was the chief guest at the 1995 parade. An anti-apatheid activist and a Mahatma Gandhi follower, Ramaphosa became the 5th president of South Africa after the resignation of Jacob Zuma in December 2017. In April 2018, he led around 5,000 people at the annual ‘Gandhi Walk’ event in Lenasia near Johannesburg, to promote community awareness and fitness. Hence, the move to invite Ramaphosa also coincides with Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. South Africa is also a key BRICS association partner for India. Generally, chief guests of the parade are heads of states of countries that are strategically important to India, or heads of neighbouring countries.

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