Zuma praises Mbeki's role in Sudan
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Friday praised the role his predecessor Thabo Mbeki played in helping bring about an end to conflict in Sudan.
"President Mbeki is a man of integrity and enormous experience," Zuma was quoted saying in a statement, issued during his visit to Sudan, to attend festivities marking the birth of South Sudan.
"He was part of the leadership that brought about change in South Africa, which will enable him to assist the people of the Sudan even further to find solutions."
Mbeki headed the African Union's high-level implementation panel which helped ensure a peaceful solution to Sudan's conflict.
Zuma began his visit in Khartoum on Friday evening, to express South Africa’s support to the north and to strengthen bilateral relations and co-operation.
South Sudan earned independence at 00.01 on Saturday. It was the outcome of a vote for independence in January, guaranteed in a 2005 peace deal which ended the most recent north-south war, the Associated Press reported.
Zuma would be in Juba on Saturday for festivities celebrating the birth of the world's newest nation.