President Cyril Ramaphosa has dispatched envoys to African countries to cool their tempers over South Africa’s xenophobic attacks against their nationals in the past two weeks.
Clearly hit by this public relations disaster, the president’s move is a reflection of the country’s resolve to address the deadly attacks on the foreign nationals, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor said.
“South Africa is taking this matter seriously and, as a government, we will act with resolve to address these challenges. We are treating it with the level of seriousness required,” the minister said.
Addressing the media ahead of South Africa’s participation in the upcoming seventy-fourth session of the UN General Assembly, Pandor said a briefing note was prepared for the three envoys assigned to the designated African states to use in their mission.
In this regard, Pador added, Ramaphosa at the weekend announced that former Minister Jeff Radebe, Ambassadors Kingsley Mmabolo and Khulu Mbatha have been tasked to visit several African countries.
Their duty is to deliver a message of reassurance in light of the deadly attacks which have seen the death of 12 people – two of them foreign nationals, the minister said.
The envoys had their first two meetings, starting on Monday, 16 September 2019. They have a full understanding of the issues, which government has been open about, Pandor said.
“We also will be giving assurance that we are giving attention to this matter,” she said, adding that the diplomats will visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.