Zuma moves national security advisor


Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, national security adviser to President Jacob Zuma has been appointed South Africa’s Special Representative to the Great Lakes Region at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).

The appointment is aimed at further boosting and strengthening South Africa’s cooperation and relations with countries in the Great Lakes, which includes Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda.

Ambassador Nhlapo has extensive experience of working in the Great Lakes region, having also headed President Zuma’s Burundi technical team, as Special Envoy to Burundi, when then-Deputy President Zuma was mediator in the Burundi conflict, the Presidency said in a statement.

Zuma appointed Nhlapo as his National Security Special Adviser in November 2009.

After going went into exile in Botswana in 1974, Nhlapo served as the ANC Chief Representative in Botswana and joined the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1994. In 1995 he was appointed South African Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the Organisation of African Unity and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The Presidency notes in a potted biography that in 1998 he was appointed Deputy Director-General responsible for Africa in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

In 2001 he was appointed Head of the Presidential Support Unit which advised the Presidency on conflict situations in Africa and the Middle East. He assumed the post of Ambassador to the US in August 2007.

It is not clear if Nhlapo replaces SA`s former ambassador to the United Nations, Dumisani Khumalo, who has been Special Envoy to the Great Lakes since May 2009.