A saman dance performance during the 10-year anniversary of the Persaudaraan Pencak Silat South Africa in Bosmont, Joburg, in celebration of introducing Indonesian sports and culture to SA. Picture:
Cape Town - Former Indonesian ambassador to South Africa Sugeng Rahardjo returned to attend the 10-year anniversary celebration of the Persaudaraan Pencak Silat South Africa (PPSSA).

More than 250 people from Bosmont in Johannesburg, with representatives of the South African government and ambassadors from Turkey and Malaysia, attended the event on Saturday.

Rahardjo initiated the Pencak Silat (a class of Indonesian martial arts) in South Africa. The PPSSA also nurtures and develops Indonesian culture and sports in the country.

The association has developed the popular Indonesian sport locally for the past decade, with about 45 Pencak Silat warriors from various age groups who practise twice a week.

The PPSSA invited its founding member, Sariat Arifia, the very first Indonesian instructor to the event, as well as other Pencak Silat instructors from Indonesia.

Over two weeks, these instructors trained PPSSA trainers and members, conducted belt grading and Senam Hijaiyah Indonesia gymnastics training, and performed Pencak Silat demonstrations in schools in and around Bosmont.

Indonesian ambassador Salman Al Farisi addressed those at the celebration, saying: “The PPSSA was the bridge and glue of the brotherhood of Indonesia and South Africa, and we hope that the close relationship between our countries will continue and develop.”

The event also presented the opportunity for Shafiq Morton to introduce his book, From the Land of Spices to Cape Town, which tells the story of a noble from Tidore, Indonesia, Tuan Guru, and his struggle during his exile in South Africa.

The book conveys the importance of Indonesia's role in building the Cape Malay Muslim community.

Cape Times