The removal of the democratically elected president of Egypt is in breach of African Union (AU) laws, the international relations department has said.
“The South African government views this as a serious breach of the AU Constitutive Act and other relevant instruments, including the African Charter on Democracy… and the Lome Declaration,” Deputy International Relations Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim told media in Pretoria today.
The armed forces overthrew Mohamed Morsi last week, declaring that he had failed the Egyptian people. Morsi was toppled just a year after he was elected as Egypt’s first freely elected president.
Ebrahim said South Africa welcomed and endorsed the resolutions of the AU Peace and Security Council meeting held on July 5 to discuss the Egyptian situation.
The meeting decided to suspend the participation of Egypt in AU activities until the restoration of constitutional order.
“Furthermore, the South African government considers this event a major setback for the advancement and consolidation of democracy in Africa,” said Ebrahim.
Government was “perturbed” about the potential negative impact of the Egyptian situation on peace, stability, and security in that country and region, he said.
“In this respect, South Africa wishes to strongly condemn the shameful acts of violence that took place in Cairo on July 8 that left more than 50 people dead and over 400 wounded.”
Government called on all parties to engage in “inclusive political dialogue” to return to a constitutional order as quickly as possible through holding free, fair, and all-inclusive elections.
Ebrahim said all non-essential personnel and families attached to the South African embassy in Cairo remained temporarily withdrawn “until the situation allows for their return”.
The South African embassy in Egypt remained open and was available to assist South African citizens should circumstances require.
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