New Delhi: The chief guest in the 2019 Republic Day will be South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, sources said. India had earlier extended an invitation to US President Donald Trump, but he had expressed his inability to attend the celebration as he was preoccupied with other schedules.
The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the second leader from that country to become the chief guest in India’s Republic Day parade. Former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, had attended the Republic Day parade as chief guest in 1995.
A follower of father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, Ramaphosa, a few months back had led 5,000 people at the annual ‘Gandhi Walk’ event organized at Lenasia, a few kilometres away from Johannesburg. It was aimed at promoting fitness and community awareness.
The two countries have developed good ties in trade and commerce. Prime Minister Modi had met Ramaphosa on the sidelines of BRICS summit which was held in Johannesburg.