African leaders must pursue citizens’ economic agenda first – South African Envoy

General News of Thursday, 19 September 2019

Source: thechronicle.com.gh

2019-09-19

Jeffrey Thamsamqa Radebe

The Special Envoy to the South African President, Mr Jeffrey Thamsamqa Radebe, has entreated African leaders to push for its citizens’ economic agenda to help eradicate all forms of hardship they face in their various countries.

Mr Radebe believes that the call, when adhered to, would prevent all forms of barbaric attacks from happening.

The Special Envoy made the statement in reference to the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa when he addressed the press in Accra yesterday.

Mr Radebe arrived in the country together with Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo and an African National Congress (ANC) veteran, Dr Khulu Mbatha, upon President Cyril Ramaphosa’s directives, to reassure Ghana that the South African government was committed to pan-African unity, the rule of law, and holding those responsible for the violence accountable.

The envoy is to visit six other countries, namely Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, for the same purpose.

Addressing the media, Mr Radebe said that the xenophobic attacks were not a reflection of the South African people, but rather because the whole of the African Continent and it’s citizenry are struggling for the ‘scarce’ resources left.

The ruling party, ANC, has, after the unfortunate incident, expressed its regret and apologised to other foreign nationals who were victims, pleading with them to calm down.

Since South Africa became a democratic state in 1994, the Special Envoy said, the country had and would always build the nation on constitutional values.

He said that what happened was not peculiar to the South African people, but shows that the African Continent should work to acquire and share all resources evenly.

He said African leaders must work to get an end to this phenomenon by seeking the economic emancipation of their citizenry to prevent these ill traits from being perpetrated in future.

He conceded that the underlying factors for the attacks in those areas of South Africa are poverty, unemployment and the socio-economic challenges the indigenes there are facing. That was what pushed them to engage in such an act.

“But having said that, what has happened in South Africa is not a justification for their actions,” and “that is why President Ramaphosa has provided strong leadership and instructions to the law enforcement [agencies] to apprehend all those people who are involved in [the] criminality,” he said, adding that some of the culprits had already been arrested and action would be taken against them soon.

In terms of compensation, Mr. Jeffrey explained that he understands some people may have suffered huge losses economically, hence, the law regarding such losses would be applied to ensure that those affected would be settled.

The South African Envoy further expressed that the historic relations between the two countries would continue unabated, and make sure the dream for the total liberation of the African Continent would be achieved.

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