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Message from Ambassador Johannes

The South African Government took the decision to act on the original Agreement signed in April 1995 by President Nelson Mandela and Pope John Paul II to consolidate diplomatic and to strengthen the official ties between the two States.

Ambassador Johannes presented his Credentials to His Holiness, Pope Francis on the 3rd June 2017.


The newly established Embassy to The Holy See opened its doors in September 2018 and the Official Opening is planned forlater in this year.


Ambassador Johannes served as Deputy High Commissioner in the UK and Deputy Ambassador to Germany as well asAmbassador to the Swiss Federation, The Principality of Liechtenstein and The Holy See.


This year, South Africa will be celebrating 25 years of democracy as well as 25 years of diplomatic links between The Holy See and South Africa. As Ambassador my primary goal is to strengthen our bilateral relationship as we celebrate 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two States.


South Africa and The Holy See share a common approach to many of the major challenges facing humanity, such as Climate Change, the Environment, Nuclear Disarmament, promoting human rights and issues of development, youth unemployment, the eradication of poverty, creation of jobs, protection of women, children and the elderly, providing healthcare, education and caring for the sick, migrants and asylum seekers.


The strengthening of the close bonds between The Holy See and South Africa is of paramount importance for both States.


I would like to add a special word of thanks to the dedicated staff of the Embassy who worked tirelessly to assist with the setting up of the Embassy to The Holy See.


If you would like to stay up to date with our activities, you are invited to subscribe to our Embassy Newsletter which will be launched soon and if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at


Best wishes


George Henry Johannes

South African Ambassador Extra-Ordinary and Plenipotentiary.

Ambassador Johannes.jpg

It is a great pleasure to personally welcome you to the website of the Embassy to The Holy See.


Previously, the Ambassadors based in the Swiss Federation in Berne represented South Africa at The Holy See. The Government of South Africa, in line with the Agreement signed in 1995, decided to establish a permanent presence at The Holy See and appointed Ambassador George Johannes as the first permanent Ambassador Accredited to The Holy See. In May 2017 he took up his position as Ambassador in Rome.

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