South Africa Transformed Mohandas Into Mahatma, Says PM Modi: 10 Points

PM Narendra Modi is in South Africa on his four-nation tour. (AFP photo)

Highlights

  • PM Modi addressed Indian community in Johannesburg, South Africa
  • Earlier this evening, PM addressed a business meet at Pretoria
  • PM Modi, President Zuma agreed to boost economic cooperation
Johannesburg: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday addressed more than 11,000 members of the Indian community at a stadium in Johannesburg in South Africa, calling it the land of Madiba or Nelson Mandela and the 'karma-bhoomi' of Mahatma Gandhi.

Here are the latest developments:

  1. "South Africa transformed Mohandas to Mahatma," PM Modi said, eliciting thunderous applause from his audience. "The same India which had condemned South Africa during apartheid was the first one to embrace it after it shunned apartheid," he said.

  2. Also drawing frequent chants of his name, he said the victory of his party in 2014 meant a mandate for "action over words, positivity over negative approaches, a sense of focus and purpose over a feeling dread, willingness to shape the international agenda rather than react to it, and transformational rather than incremental change."

  3. Earlier, after arriving in Pretoria, he held talks with South Africa President Jacob Zuma and addressed a meeting of business leaders.

  4. The PM is on a tour of four African countries aimed at boosting ties in a region where China has a strong presence. India's economic footprint in Africa is dwarfed by that of China, but it is gaining ground led by private entrepreneurs with a keen interest in the continent's burgeoning energy sector.

  5. PM Modi and President Zuma have agreed to boost economic cooperation and deepen engagement in key areas of defence production, manufacturing, mining and minerals while vowing to cooperate "actively" in combating terrorism.

  6. "Make in India has become the biggest brand that India has ever had. We have given importance to ease of doing business," PM Modi told South African businessmen in Pretoria.

  7. PM Modi thanked President Zuma for South Africa's support to India's bid for membership of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group or NSG. "We know that we can count on the active support of our friends, like South Africa," he said. There were reports that South Africa was among countries which had reservations about India joining the elite nuclear club.

  8. South Africa has been vocal on the need to reform the UN Security Council, making it a natural ally in India's campaign to be made a permanent member. India and Africa are together home to a third of the world's population, but neither India nor any African country has a permanent seat on the council.

  9. PM Modi's first stop was Mozambique, where India handed over 30 Mahindra SUVs to the government, completing the delivery of $4.5 million grant assistance as part of supporting institutions in the African country.

  10. In South Africa, PM Modi will also honour the 20 years that Mahatma Gandhi spent in the country. He reached Durban today, the heart of the Indian community in the country. He will next visit Tanzania and Kenya.