Pretoria, 14 May 2023 – The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) expresses profound sadness over the passing of South Africa’s ambassador to the Republic of Algeria, His Excellency Billy Masetlha.
Ambassador Masetlha peacefully passed away today, 14 May 2023, following a prolonged illness. His departure leaves a void in the diplomatic community and in the hearts of those who knew him.
Throughout his distinguished career, Ambassador Masetlha rendered invaluable service to the South African government in various roles, notably as the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency. He played a significant role in the anti-apartheid movement, actively contributing as a member of Umkhonto We Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress.
During his exile in Botswana and Zambia, Ambassador Masetlha engaged passionately with youth and student organizations, joining forces in the tireless struggle against the oppressive apartheid regime. His unwavering commitment to the cause and his dedication to advancing the principles of freedom and equality served as an inspiration to many.
Minister Naledi Pandor expressed her deep condolences, acknowledging the immeasurable loss of a seasoned diplomat and an ardent advocate for Pan-Africanism. Ambassador Masetlha’s unwavering belief in the ideals and objectives of a united Africa made him a respected and trusted representative of South Africa.
“We extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Ambassador Masetlha during this difficult time,” stated Minister Pandor, emphasizing the collective sense of loss felt across the nation.
As South Africa mourns the passing of Ambassador Billy Masetlha, his legacy as a remarkable patriot and diplomat will endure, serving as a reminder of his significant contributions to the struggle for freedom and the advancement of South Africa’s diplomatic standing in the international community.