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Ramaphosa: Envoys to reassure Africa on SA's commitment to rule of law

President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the special envoys he's sending to various African countries will have a difficult time explaining government's positions on the recent attacks on foreign nationals.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said that the special envoys he's sending to various African countries will have a difficult time explaining government's positions on the recent attacks on foreign nationals.

The team is visiting Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

Twelve people - most of them South Africans - were killed in the violence and looting that rocked Gauteng a few weeks ago.

Ramaphosa said that his team of envoys would reassure fellow African countries that the government was committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity, also reaffirm South Africa's committment to the rule of law.

"We are doing everything we can to explain ourselves. As you can imagine comrades, it is always difficult when something wrong has happened for you to explain yourself."

Ramaphosa also called on foreign nationals living in South Africa to respect the laws of the country.

Ramaphosa said the difficult socio-economic conditions in the country should not spur South Africans to turn on foreign nationals.

“We want foreign national here to obey the laws of South Africa. They must obey the laws. They must live in accordance with our protocols, laws and regulations.”

ZIMBABWE JEERS

On Saturday, Ramaphosa promised Zimbabweans that his government would get to the root of violent attacks against foreign nationals.

This came after the president was booed during his address at former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe's funeral in Harare.

He was heckled when he got on stage, prompting the programme director to intervene and calm tensions.

The president insisted that despite recent events, South Africans are not xenophobic, and they welcomed people from all countries.

When Ramaphosa took to the stage, his voice was drowned out by the anger of the crowds.

He then used his speech to address the recent outbreak of violence targeted at foreign nationals in South Africa.

“What happened in South Africa goes against the principles of unity of the people of Africa.”

Additional reporting by Clement Manyathela.

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