The Media Review Network (MRN) welcomes the meeting between the Government, the African National Congress (ANC) and the Muslim Judicial Council (MJC), held on Saturday 29th March 2014 at the MJC offices in Cape Town.
This follows reports in the Egyptian media, in late February, which indicated that a South African government delegation led by Minister of State Security, Mr Siyabonga Cwele, met with the illegal military regime in Egypt.
South African Muslims were alarmed at reports which implied that coup leader General Abdel Fattah Al Sisi received approval from Minister Cwele for a number of requests.
These included a call to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood by denying its members any opportunity to operate in South Africa.
In an open letter to the Department of International Relations (DIRCO) and the Presidency, the Media Review Network expressed our concerns at this development.
We are therefore pleased that a number of our concerns were raised by the Muslim Judicial Council during its recent meeting.
The MJC delegation was led by its president, Moulana Ighsaan Hendricks, who was accompanied by Sheik Riad Fataar, Sheik Ihsaan Taliep, Moulana Abdul Khaliq Allie and Sheik Ebrahim Gabriels.
The ANC and government delegation included Mr Gwede Mantashe, Ms Jesse Duarte, Dr Zwele Nkhize and the Minister of State Security, Mr Siyabonga Cwele.
We acknowledge the assurances provided by government that its position vis a vis the military coup and the installation of the illegal regime in Cairo remains unchanged.
The assurances given included amongst others that Egypt’s suspension from the AU remains; that South Africa does not subscribe to undemocratic changes to elected governments; and that the rule of law and democracy must be restored in Egypt.
The MRN, however, believes that in the in terest of transparency, government has an obligation to explain the purpose and reason for Minister Cwele’s visit.
We therefore urge DIRCO to urgently address this specific area of concern especially in the light of recent absurd trials that have sentenced hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood opponents of the military coup to death.
Senior Researcher: Media Review Network
Tel: 011 837 3220 (office hours)