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According to media reports which appeared in the Egyptian newspapers, a delegation of South African government officials, headed by Minister of State Security Siyabonga Cwele visited Egypt for bilateral talks. The reports maintain that Minister Cwele met military coup leader, Abdel Fatah El Sisi.

A newspaper in Cairo, ”The Daily News” reported on the 25th February 2014, that Minister Siyabonga Cwele  handed a letter from our President to the coup leader, El Sisi, expressing support for the coup leader and his road-map.

In July 2013, DIRCO is quoted in the “Egyptian Independent”, a daily newspaper, saying: “the South African Government expresses its deep concern at the high number of deaths amongst protesters demonstrating against the unconstitutional removal of Egypt’s elected president, Mr. Mohammed Morsi.

Furthermore we quote from your press release dated 30th July 2013: “South Africa joins the call by the international community for the unconditional release of President Morsi and all other political prisoners held in detention since the unconstitutional change of Government on 3 July”.

The suspension of Egypt’s membership of the African Union soon after the military-led coup was also supported by our Government.

This visit must raise critical questions:

1.    When did the “unconstitutional removal” of President Morsi become legitimate in the eyes of our Government?

2.    What prompted this change?

3.    Does it now support the violent overthrow of democratically elected administrations?

4.    Do we support the African Union in its suspension of Egypt?

5.    Do we support the brutal killings of peaceful demonstrators in Cairo?

6.    Does our Government accept that the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organisation? If so, on what evidence?

7.    Are we about to enter into a secret deal with the unconstitutional coup leader in Cairo?

The MRN is worried at these reports. If true, it will mean that the South African Government will be undermining its known policies against military coups. It will surely raise doubts about our credibility in the eyes of the African Union, headed by our own Dr. Nkosazana-Dlamini Zuma.

Ibrahim Vawda

Senior Researcher: Media Review Network

011 837 3220 (office hours)