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SA president apologises to Ghana over recent xenophobic attacks

File: LR – President Nana Akufo-Addo with President Cyril Ramaphosa in July 2018

President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa has apologied to Ghana for the recent xenophobic attacks in his country that resulted in the death of and injuries to several African nationals.

Minister of State at the Office of the South African presidency Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe, who delivered the apology to President Nana Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, indicated President Ramaphosa abhorred the attacks which saw shops looted and properties destroyed.

“This is not in line with constitutional democracy,” Mr Radebe stated, and described the attacks as “affront to the rule of law”.

Three Ghanaians were injured in the renewed xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa, while five others were arrested over their resident permits.

“President Ramaphosa has condemned the violence, and has instructed security agencies to leave no stone unturned in bringing all the perpetrators to book”.

He revealed further that President Ramaphosa has decided to cancel his participation in the United Nations General Assembly to deal with the matter to ensure that it does not escalate.

The South African Minister reiterated the importance of the historic relations between the two countries, and indicated that “what has happened should not stand in the way of closer cooperation between Ghana and South Africa.”

With President Akufo-Addo being the first President to pay a State Visit to South Africa upon the assumption of office of President Ramaphosa, Minister Radebe told President Akufo-Addo that this is evidence of “the high regard he has for you and the people of Ghana, and the role played in the liberation of the continent from colonialism and imperialism.”

Jeffrey Thamsanqa Radebe in a handshake with President Akufo-Addo

He told President Akufo-Addo about the decision of President Ramaphosa to pay a reciprocal visit to Ghana in December 2019, and revealed also that modalities for the waiving of visa requirements for nationals of the two countries were being finalized.

For his part, President Akufo-Addo thanked Minister Radebe for President Ramaphosa’s “exceptional gesture”, adding that “it is a courageous act on his part to apologise on behalf of the people of South Africa for the actions of the perpetrators of the violence.”

The apology, the President stated, “is accepted in good faith”, and was hopeful that the “authors of the violence will be apprehended, and will face justice.”

He was confident that there continues to exist opportunities for stronger ties of co-operation between the two countries, and assured President Ramaphosa, through Minister Radebe, that Ghana remains committed to realizing the vision of a united Africa.

“We have been the marginalized people for too long, and we must stick together so we can have our day in the sun soon,” he added.


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