South Africa has sent a team of special envoys appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to various countries across Africa to reassure them that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity.
The diplomatic engagement follows a wave of xenophobic violence earlier this month targeting nationals of other African countries. South Africa’s President has been at pains to convince other African leaders, and citizens that South Africans are not xenophobic, and citizens of fellow African countries are welcome in his country, despite the acts of violence.
South Africa has been accused of abandoning the once cherished Pan-African ideals, which were espoused by the country’s founding fathers and leaders.
Ramaphosa was booed on Saturday while delivering his speech at Zimbabwe former President Robert Mugabe’s funeral in Harare, and he apologised for the attacks.
“I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and apologise for what has happened in our country,” Ramaphosa said at the funeral.
President @MBuhari yesterday received Mr. Jeff Radebe, Special Envoy of President @CyrilRamaphosa of South Africa,at the State House. Mr Radebe apologized on behalf of his President for what he called “acts of criminality and violence” that recently occurred in South Africa. pic.twitter.com/hkExkejg2G
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) September 17, 2019
The team of envoys, which comprises of Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo and Dr. Khulu Mbatha, is visiting Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.
According to a statement from the South African Presidency, “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”.
“The Special Envoys are tasked with reassuring fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity. The Special Envoys will also reaffirm South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law,” the statement noted.
The 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.