Tension between South Africa and Egypt has continue to grow, with Pretoria rebuking Cairo on Wednesday over the political and security crisis in the North African country.
Egyptian Foreign Ministry had earlier rejected South Africa’s classification of the unconstitutional change of the government in Egypt as a ‘military coup’.
Government spokesman Clayson Monyela reiterated that South Africa believes the political and security crisis in Egypt was initiated by the removal of a democratically-elected President through a military coup.
“Most unfortunate is the seemingly visible attempts by the Egyptian security forces that led to a tragic loss of lives,” he said.
Monyela said it was important to note that South Africa’s principled position is based on the Constitutive Act of the African Union, where any unconstitutional change of government – whatever the premise – is specifically rejected.
“Egypt, as a founding member of the OAU and the AU, should respect the integrity of the Continental Organisation which it has been instrumental in developing over the years. Egypt has always voted consistently in favour of suspending other members from the African Union on the same basis – and has worked with those sister countries to restore constitutional government at the earliest opportunity so that affected states may resume their valued role within the AU.
‘Rather than attacking the integrity of the AU, Egypt should respect the AU processes and cooperate with the AU High Level Panel in support of a peaceful and inclusive transition and restoration of constitutional order in Egypt,” Monyela said.
He said South Africa had never sought to export nor impose its version of national reconciliation on Egypt or any other sovereign country.
“Rather, it conveyed its readiness to share with Egypt experiences and lessons from its own political transition from apartheid rule to a genuine multi-party democratic dispensation,” the spokesman said.
Monyela added that South Africa remained concerned at the violence and tragic loss of Egyptian lives and said it is incumbent on those forces responsible for law and order to protect civilians and prevent further bloodshed in Egypt.
“The South African Government maintains that national reconciliation and an Egyptian-led, all-inclusive negotiated process remains the only option for Egypt to get out of the present impasse,” he added.