By Gokhan Kavak and Murat Karadag
JOHANNESBURG (AA) – Mandla Mandela — grandson of global icon and the first black president of South Africa Nelson Mandela — has hailed Turkey's chairmanship at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
In an exclusive interview to Anadolu Agency after talking to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a bilateral meeting, Mandela said Erdogan is "doing his best" for the OIC during Turkey's chairmanship period.
Mandla Mandela is a deputy in his late father's African National Congress (ANC), which is the Republic of South Africa's governing political party.
Erdogan had held a meeting with South African Muslim opinion leaders, which Mandela termed as "a very sincere meeting".
"Erdogan is doing his best as representative of the chairman country of the OIC," Mandela said. "The Muslim world's biggest problems are poverty, education and dialogue.
"We expect from all Muslim leaders to make efforts to overcome difficulties that Muslim minorities face."
Mandela also highlighted that South Africa welcomes the support given by Turkey. He also appreciated Turkey's support for Palestine, Syria, Kashmir and Myanmar.
"As you know, Palestine's case was one of the issues that my grandfather Nelson Mandela's had close interest in. He saw the Palestine issue as one of the biggest issues in our world.
"As the world keeps being silent about the case, Erdogan pushes all limits to take care of the issue."
Mandela also said Turkey and South Africa have common ties dating back to the Ottoman-era.
He called for strengthening ties based on "our common history, religion and cultural heritage."
He said there are several successful Turkish companies in South Africa and Turkey is seen as a developed country which will share its experiences with South Africa.
"Turkey can make its presence felt more by educating the rural and poor areas in South Africa about Islam. More Turkish entrepreneurs can invest in southern countries in Africa continent," he said.
Mandela also said BRICS and Turkey could help each other.
"BRICS sent a strong message about free trade clause and recent U.S. protectionism by inviting Turkey to the summit," Mandela said.
At the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey and the BRICS countries — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — can jointly establish a more objective credit rating agency.