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Xenophobia: South Africa sends special envoys to Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, others

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President Cyril Ramaphosa is sending special envoys to deliver messages of solidarity to several heads of state and governments across Africa amid tensions and violence in the country.

buhari ramaphosa
Ramaphosa and Buhari

“The special envoys will deliver a message from President Ramaphosa regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts South Africa, which have manifested in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property,” spokesperson Khusela Diko said in a statement on Sunday.

According to News24 report the team, which includes Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo, and Dr Khulu Mbatha are expected to visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia. This comes after widespread tensions across the country, in which people have looted both foreign and South African-owned shops while calling for an end to drug syndicates, News24 reported.

According to the Presidency, the special envoys are tasked with “reassuring fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity”.

In addition, the action is also meant to reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law.

“The special envoys will brief governments in the identified African countries about the steps that the South African government is taking to bring a stop to the attacks and to hold the perpetrators to account,” Diko said.

The communique from the Presidency comes a day after Ramaphosa was booed at former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s memorial in Harare on Saturday as he took to the podium, News24 reported.

Ramaphosa acknowledged there was a problem in his country and apologised to those caught in the sporadic violence that has sparked across parts of South Africa over the past two weeks.

“I stand before you as a fellow African, to express my regret and to apologise for what has happened in our country,” said Ramaphosa.


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