Ambassador Jerry Matthews Matjila is currently a consultant offering advisory services to both private and public entities. He is very passionate about Rural Development, the advancement of youth and women in rural communities. For over forty years, Ambassador Matjila has been involved in the formulation, articulation, and defence of South African foreign policy, even when he served in the ANC in exile.
Ambassador Matjila was one of the founding members of the new Department of Foreign Affairs in 1994 (now called the Department of International Relations and Cooperation – DIRCO), having been part of the core team that integrated various components: former DFA, ANC-DIA, PAC, Inkatha and the TBVC states. Consequently, Ambassador Matjila has a thorough knowledge of the Department, gained over the last seventeen years during which he served, amongst others, as Permanent representative of South Africa to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva; served twice as Deputy-Director-General of Branch: Asia and Middle East; and Acting Director-General for Branch: Europe; South African Ambassador to the European Union (EU), Kingdom of Belgium and Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; and South African High Commissioner to India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, The Maldives and Nepal. Ambassador Matjila has been a member of the Top Management of DIRCO for thirteen years and has travelled to more than seventy countries, representing South Africa in various capacities. Ambassador Matjila was the Director-General/Permanent Secretary of DIRCO for 5 years (2011-2016). Ambassador Matjila chaired various global conferences like ILO, United Nations Security Council, ECOSOC, AU, BRICS and SADC Senior Officials meetings.
Prior to the advent of the new democratic South Africa in 1994, Ambassador Matjila served as the ANC Chief Representative to Japan and Northeast Asia (Japan, Koreas, China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore and Brunei (1988-1994); ANC Assistant-Representative to Sweden and Finland; ANC Regional Education Department in Lusaka, Zambia; and in the ANC Underground Structures responsible for Guidance and Management of ANC Underground Activities in South Africa (1978-1984). Ambassador Matjila went into exile in 1976. The Ambassador has been on Top Management in the ANC Diplomacy and Government for more than four (4) decades. He holds a Masters Programme – University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland (1996-1999); Diplomas in Diplomacy – Paris, France and Brussels, Belgium [EU-ACP] (April-July 1992), Oxford, UK (July 1992), Oslo, Norway (November – December 1992), Germany (November – December 1993); and a Leadership Development Programme, University of Pretoria (2006).
Ambassador Matjila is married. He is committed to fitness, and he is an avid reader.