Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was speaking at the presidential palace, Union Buildings, in Pretoria, where he was received with military honours and met with the South African President on a state visit to South Africa.

Speaking to the media, with Cyril Ramaphosa by his side, before a meeting between the respective delegations, the Portuguese head of state invited him to visit Portugal.

"I suggest one of two months that are really very pleasant in Portugal, either March or April", said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.

"Portugal would very much like to have him in a year like the next, as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1974 revolution, which was the beginning of a long process", he added.

Afterwards, the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, thanked him for the invitation and told Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa that he was arrested in Mozambique following the 25th of April.

"Your revolution, when it happened there in 1974, had other consequences in this region, and personally for me, because it was your revolution that led to my being arrested by apartheid rulers. While people were celebrating the liberation of Mozambique, they decided to arrest me. So we're connected," Ramaphosa said.

According to his official biography, Ramaphosa was imprisoned for eleven months in 1974 after participating in a demonstration in favour of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo).

In a joint press conference with the South African President, after the meeting between the Portuguese and South African delegations, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa reiterated the invitation for a visit to Portugal, pointing to "March next year".

The Portuguese head of state once again mentioned that 2024 will be the year in which Portugal celebrates "five decades of freedom and democracy", and considered that the 25th of April is linked "to the independence of sister countries that speak Portuguese, but in some way also to the democratic struggle in South Africa against apartheid".

In response to journalists, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa clarified that he did not invite his South African counterpart to be in Portugal on the 25th of April itself, "even for a very simple reason, President Ramaphosa will have other intense activities to develop in both following months and therefore March seems to be the appropriate period for the visit".

"Anyway, I found out today that President Ramaphosa was also touched by a side effect of the 25th of April 1974, because he celebrated the path to independence of the new Portuguese-speaking States, namely Mozambique when he was arrested," he said.