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South Africa rejects Western meddling in corruption cases2 minutes read

“South Africa is a sovereign state and has always respected the laws of these imperialist countries.” – ANC

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Unemployment drops Ramaphosa vows changes
President Cyril Ramaphosa - AFP

South Africa has rejected reported criticism of its record on corruption by five Western countries, including the US and Britain, who insisted they were only drawing the government’s attention to a serious issue.

The Sunday Times reported on its front page that the five countries — the US, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland who account for 75 percent of all foreign investment in South Africa — had written a note to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging him to ensure full respect for the rule of law.

No investor would come to South Africa without such guarantees, the newspaper cited the note as saying.

Ramaphosa, who replaced Jacob Zuma a year ago promising an anti-corruption crusade, has called on foreign firms to have faith in the country and help kick-start the economy after years of “state pillage.”

South Africa’s foreign ministry reacted sharply to the reported note, recording its “disappointment” that it was sent.

“This is a departure from established diplomatic practice,” it said in a statement.

“All matters that have been raised by investors are being addressed,” it added.

Foreign Minister Lindiwe Sisulu met the five ambassadors on Monday when they said they had not in fact sent such a note to the president and that the document dated from June last year.

“This discussion paper was intended to support South Africa’s investment drive and to underpin our constructive dialogue with the South African government,” they said in a statement.

For its part the ruling ANC party was quick to denounce the reported note, saying: “South Africa is a sovereign state and has always respected the laws of these imperialist countries.

“We do not appreciate a threatening and bullying tone,” it said, charging “this unwarranted act by these five countries is viewed dimly, as an act to influence the outcome of the upcoming elections.”

A general election is due in May with the ANC, despite the damage to its reputation from the Zuma-era corruption scandals, the favourite.

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Politics

South African ruling party condemn racial discrimination in America

“It’s deplorable that almost 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in America, people of color are still routinely slaughtered for the color of their skin,” the ANC said.

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Syrian artists Aziz Asmar and Anis Hamdoun finish a mural depicting George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man who died while while being arrested and pinned to the ground by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, in the town of Binnish in Syria's northwestern Idlib province on June 1, 2020. (Photo by OMAR HAJ KADOUR / AFP)

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) has deplored rising racial discrimination in the United States, calling for “an amicable solution” to the current racial impasse.

“While we note the action taken by American authorities in charging one of the officers who was caught on camera kneeling on an unarmed (George) Floyd, it is equally concerning that incidents of police brutality against African American citizens are on the increase,” the party said in a statement available to Xinhua on Tuesday.

The cascade of recent cases involving police brutality against black Americans “has sharpened the focus on inescapable realities that American society places a perilously low value on black lives,” the ANC said.

The Black Lives Matter movement, formed in 2013, highlighted the scourge of racial killings in the U.S. by organizing marches and demonstrations in response to the killings of black men and women by the police, said the ANC.

“It’s deplorable that almost 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in America, people of color are still routinely slaughtered for the color of their skin,” the party said.

The ANC fought and defeated racial supremacy and will not be cowered to remain silent in the face of the lynching of black people wherever they manifest, the party said.

The ANC urged the South African government to engage with the American government through established diplomatic channels to diffuse racial tensions and build social cohesion among different races.

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Zimbabwe summons US envoy over ‘false’ George Floyd claims

“Zimbabwe is not and has never been an adversary of the United States of America,” Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo said.

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Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa. AFP/Photo by Nicolas Liponne/NurPhoto

Zimbabwe on Monday summoned the US ambassador, Brian Nichols over remarks by a senior American official accusing the southern African country of stirring anti-racism protests over the death of George Floyd.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Minister Sibusiso Moyo dismissed as “false and without factual foundation” the claims by US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien.

The United States has been rocked by days of protests after Floyd, an African-American, died while a white police officer knelt on his neck, ignoring complaints he could not breathe.

In a Sunday interview with ABC news, O’Brien referred to Zimbabwe and China as “foreign adversaries” using social media to stoke unrest and “sow discord”.

Zimbabwe’s foreign ministry spokesman James Manzou said US ambassador Brian Nichols had been summoned to explain O’Brien’s remarks, an AFP report said.

Moyo said the statements by Trump’s administration were damaging.

“Zimbabwe is not and has never been an adversary of the United States of America,” Moyo said. 

“I have informed the US ambassador that Mr. O’Brien’s allegations are false and without factual foundation whatsoever.”

Zimbabwe-US relations have been tense since Washington imposed sanctions against former president Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle in 2002 over rights abuses.

Those sanctions were extended in March of this year, with Washington citing current President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s failure to implement reforms as well as his violent crackdowns on opposition since he took power in 2017.

Government spokesman Nick Mangwana said Zimbabwe did not consider itself “America’s adversary”.

“We prefer having friends and allies to having unhelpful adversity with any other nation including the USA,” Mangwana tweeted late Sunday.

A senior Zimbabwean official quoted by the state-owned Herald newspaper also denied O’Brien’s accusations.

“Anyone who has seen the genesis of recent events, from the tragic death of Mr Floyd to the subsequent protests, will realise that any accusations of Zimbabwean involvement at any stage is farcical,” the unnamed official said.

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Tunisia to reopen borders, airspace on June 27

Tunisian Prime Minister, Elyes Fakhfakh also said Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4.

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Tunisia's new Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh speaks during the government handover ceremony in Carthage on the eastern outskirts of the capital Tunis on February 28, 2020. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)

Tunisian Prime Minister, Elyes Fakhfakh has announced that the country will reopen its land, air and sea borders from June 27.

He also said Tunisian nationals abroad will be repatriated from June 4.

Fakhfakh made the announcement after a meeting with the national commission to combat coronavirus on Monday.

Tunisia has reported 1,084 confirmed coronavirus cases so far, a Xinxua news agency report said.

The North African country has received support from various countries including China.

On April 16, China donated a batch of medical aid to Tunisia’s Ministry of National Defense, including facemasks, test kits and medical protective googles.

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