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DA hits back at ‘pathetic’ ANC foreign policy attacks

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Eric Naki

Mmusi Maimane, the leader of South Africa's opposition Democratic Alliance reacts in frustration in parliament. Picture: EPA/NIC BOTHMA

The DA cited examples of the ANC’s many foreign policy blunders, which include denying the Dalai Lama entry into the country as well as the al-Bashir saga.

A war of words continued between the ANC and DA over visits by the opposition party’s politicians, including leader Mmusi Maimane, to foreign countries without the authorisation of government.

Maimane came under attack from the ruling party after visiting Palestine, while Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga was rebuked for going to Taiwan capital Taipei for a meeting with his counterpart.

The ANC lambasted the DA after the Palestinian embassy in Pretoria said it only learned of Maimane’s visit through the media, and that no appointments were made for him to meet the country’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in Ramallah.

READ MORE: Maimane ‘rented his face to murderous Zionists’Vavi 

The ANC quoted the Palestinian statement as saying the DA “were officially informed that no one of PA officials or leadership were to meet with Mr Maimane”.

But DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme criticised the embassy for issuing a “misleading” statement.

“The DA had a confirmed meeting with Palestinian President, Mr Mahmoud Abbas, and had informed South Africa’s embassy in Ramallah of the meeting, and invited South Africa’s ambassador to join the meeting.”

She said the DA did not inform the Palestinian embassy in South Africa before the visit because they were not required to do so.

“We communicated with the president’s office”.

DA shadow minister of international relations and cooperation Stevens Mokgalapa accused the ANC of having a pathetic foreign policy.

“The ANC’s attempt to control who South Africans meet abroad demonstrates just how pathetic their foreign policy has become,” Mokgalapa said.

He cited many ANC foreign policy blunders, including disrespect for the Tibetan people’s rights by barring the Dalai Lama from visiting South Africa, failing to stand up to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and being in contempt of court by allowing fugitive Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to escape. Al-Bashir faces genocide charges.

“Government is cosying up to China and Russia, adopting a hostile approach to the West, despite the need for investment that creates jobs,” he said.

Source: The Citizen on Facebook and Twitter.

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