Recently appointed German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called on German Ambassador to South Africa Walter J. Lindner to become State Secretary of the Foreign Office.
The function of State Secretary is the highest rank in the civil service of the German government.
At the request of the Minister, Lindner left the country on short notice to take up his new duties on February 14.
“I am very sad to leave this most beautiful country. I had hoped to stay here longer, but as a diplomat you always have to be ready to be called back by the political leadership. There is and will always be a special place in my heart for South Africa. And who knows, maybe I will be back in some years?”, Lindner declared.
Walter J. Lindner became German Ambassador to South Africa in July 2015.
During his tenure the Ambassador reached out to South Africans beyond the usual diplomatic channels.
Lindner spear-headed the #KhombiSAGermany project and drove the ’71 Volkswagen Kombi as a taxi through Mamelodi.
As a passionate musician he joined great South African stars such as Lira and Sipho Hotstix on stage.
During the height of the student protests the Ambassador joined the discussion on campuses around the country drawing from his experience of the student protests in the 1970s.