The man President Jacob Zuma threatened to denounce as a terrorist is currently making a state visit to South Africa as leader of Burundi.
Pierre Nkurunzia is spending his two-day stay in Cape Town where he and Zuma signed a joint cooperation commission agreement, adding further areas of cooperation like arts and culture, telecommunications and public works.
As deputy president, Jacob Zuma mediated the political settlement in Burundi a decade ago that brought Pierre Nkurunziza to power.
En route to this, he had to deal with the then Burundian rebel leader’s brinkmanship.
At one point he threatened to name Nkurunziza as an international terrorist if he did not return to the negotiating table.
At a business forum yesterday Zuma said South Africa and Burundi enjoy warm and friendly relations.
He congratulated Nkurunziza and the Burundi people for choosing peace and for the progress they’ve made since the end of the civil war in 2005.
Burundi and South Africa are currently waging a war on poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Having worked together in the quest for peace and democracy in Burundi, said Zuma, they are now co-operating in the quest for prosperity.
Burundi has considerable and attractive mining potential.
South Africa’s looking for opportunities in infrastructure development, especially in energy, transport, construction, telecommunications, aerospace and related industries.