Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Ramaphosa Seeks Solidarity with Fellow African States After Xenophobia
Southern Times
Sep 23, 2019
Colleta Dewa

Johannesburg - South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa this week deployed a team of special envoys across Africa to deliver a message of solidarity following the recent attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa which led to the death of more than 12 people and destruction of property.

According to Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusila Diko, the envoys will meet with heads of state and government officials across Africa to ensure the country's relations with other countries remain intact.

She added that it was correct for South Africa to go out and set the record straight.

"A team of special envoys appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa begun their assignment yesterday and departed South Africa to deliver messages of solidarity to several heads of state and government across Africa. The team, comprising of Mr Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsley Mamabolo and Dr Khulu Mbatha, will visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia," said Diko on Tuesday.

Diko added that the special envoys were tasked with reassuring fellow African countries that South Africa was committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity and also reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law.

The special envoys were expected to brief governments in the identified African countries about the steps that the South African government was taking to bring a stop to the attacks and to hold the perpetrators to account.

In his address to mourners during the funeral of Zimbabwe's former President Robert Mugabe, President Ramaphosa acknowledged the concerns of Zimbabwean nationals and other African diaspora communities in South Africa, and assured mourners that South Africans were not xenophobic. He said the country was making efforts to deal with the causes of the violence.

He also said South Africa was committed to the spirit of Mugabe, which was a spirit of uniting Africa.

“In the past two weeks we have had challenges, some of which was directed at nationals from other countries. This has led to the deaths and injuries of other people - some of which were nationals of other counties. I stand before you to apologise for what has happened in our country,” he said, to applause from the crowd which had booed and jeered him as he took to the podium to deliver his eulogy on Mugabe.

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