Dirco unaware of any planned protests during Kabila’s visit to SA

Dirco spokesman Nelson Kgwete says the 10th session of the South Africa-DRC bi-national commission will go ahead.

This file photo shows Congolese President Joseph Kabila. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says it’s not aware of any planned protests during Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila’s visit to South Africa.

This is despite reports, citing that members of the Congolese community in South Africa, have threatened to disrupt Kabila’s interactions with President Jacob Zuma at the Sefako Makgatho presidential guest house.

It’s reported that the Congolese community has reiterated that the DRC President is no longer legally in power.

Dirco spokesman Nelson Kgwete says the 10th session of the South Africa-DRC bi-national commission will go ahead.

“The South African government is looking forward to President Kabila’s arrival in Pretoria ahead of the 10th bi-national commission within South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Meanwhile, more than 80,000 people have fled their homes in Pool province surrounding Congo Republic’s capital since the government began a military operation there last year, a joint UN and government statement said.

The campaign, involving occasional aerial bombardments, aims to curb what the government says is a resurgent rebellion led by Pastor Ntumi, an enemy of President Denis Sassou Nguesso from the oil-rich country’s 1997 civil war.

While it has been hard to confirm death tolls and the impact on residents, any clear evidence of escalating violence could be damaging to Sassou Nguesso’s ruling party, the Congolese Party of Labour, ahead of legislative elections next month.

The United Nations is seeking around $20 million in emergency funding to provide humanitarian assistance in the province after a recent visit found widespread signs malnutrition, the statement released late on Friday said.

Many of the displaced remain beyond the reach of aid workers, it added.

“In non-accessible zones... there is a reason to fear an even more complicated situation as the number of (displaced) continues to increase and living conditions worsen more every day.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)