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SADC accused of protecting ‘criminal presidents’

Foreign nationals protested outside the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria.

FILE: DRC President Joseph Kabila. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit has been accused of protecting heads of state at the expense of citizens who are suffering.

Concerned citizens of several countries, including Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have called their presidents criminals who only stand to enrich themselves.

Foreign nationals protested outside the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) in Pretoria, where heads of state gathered for the summit on Saturday.

Zimbabwean citizen Lawrence Mavhaire says South Africa's quiet diplomacy is the reason Zimbabwe’s first lady Grace Mugabe was confident to assault a South African girl.

LISTEN: ‘I was attacked, assaulted by Grace Mugabe’

The Congolese Community in South Africa's Jean Bwasa accused SADC leaders of entertaining President Joseph Kabila because they want to benefit from the mines in Congo.

“Most of the leaders here have mines in Congo. All of them have mines. South Africans that are supposedly dying from the mission of the UN there, they are protecting mines.”

A memorandum submitted by the demonstrators was received by an official from Dirco.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)