Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa has very little to say in response to arrests of South Africans in China on suspicion of terrorism
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa today Wednesday 15 July had very little to say to in response to media questions regarding the arrests of a number of South Africans and other nationals in the Peoples Republic of China. It was very clear his “high level” involvement was not welcome in the matter. It seem in China, being a billionaire Deputy President of an African country, or family of the major telecoms firm in Africa, hold very little weight, unlike in corrupt South Africa…
In this regard, a muted Deputy President Ramaphosa could only say: “Yes we have known that there are a number of South Africans as well as people from other nations who were arrested. The matter is being addressed at our Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) level.
Deputy President Ramaphosa was speaking during a media briefing in Beijing on Wednesday 15 July following the conclusion of the first part of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China in effort to understand how state-owned enterprises can be utilised to promote economic growth while addressing challenges of poverty and unemployment.
Chinese authorities are investigating at least five South Africans detained in the country over possible involvement in a terrorist organization, according to South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
“No charges have been posed officially at this stage but they are being detained and may be charged for allegedly contravening regulation 120 of the criminal law” of China, Nelson Kgwete, a spokesman for the department, said by phone on Thursday. The rule deals with anyone involved in organizing, leading and attending a terrorist organization, Kgwete said.
Twenty South African, British and Indian nationals were held on July 10 at an airport in Erdos, Inner Mongolia, about 700 kilometers (435 miles) west of Beijing. The brother, aunt and uncle of Shameel Joosub, the chief executive officer of mobile-phone company Vodacom Group Ltd., were among the group taken into captivity. Six of nine British nationals held — including two with dual British-South African citizenship — have been deported, with the remainder still in custody, a spokeswoman for the U.K.’s Foreign Office said on Wednesday.
The relationship between South Africa and China includes South African Airways’ partnership with Air China, while China Development Corp. agreed to a $2.5 billion loan to South Africa’s state-owned rail and ports operator earlier this year.
South African Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is in Beijing for talks with ministers and business executives, said in a Wednesday statement it’s best to let inter-governmental departments deal with the matter.