Amidst xenophobic attacks on foreigners, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has canceled his plan to attend the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting, in order to “concentrate on critical” issues at home.
The office of the South African president, on Thursday, September 12 said the country’s minister of international relations and cooperation, Naledi Pandor, had been instructed to lead the South African delegation to attend the meeting scheduled to take place in New York from September 23 – 26, NAN/Xinhua reports.
We gather that Khusela Diko, presidential spokesperson, said the president made the decision to stay back home, in order to attend to the implementation of the government’s measures on gender-based violence.
The spokesperson added that Ramaphosa wanted to witness order and stability being restored in areas affected by public violence, and also oversee initiatives to turn the economy around.
The South African president would be meeting communities, civil society and structures of government on concrete actions to address public concerns and challenges.
South Africa currently serves as a non-permanent member in the UN Security Council and Ramaphosa has rarely been absent from General Assembly meetings in previous years.
In recent days, there has been a spike in gender-based violence in the country and at least 12 people have been killed in clashes between locals and foreigners.
Meanwhile, it was previously reported that some Nigerians who fled South Africa over the xenophobic attack on foreigners by South African nationals, arrived at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
The returnees were at the airport at 9.35pm on Wednesday, September 11, on-board an Air Peace flight.
The chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, led some Nigerian officials to receive the returnees at the airport.
Dabiri-Erewa said a total of 187 Nigerians were evacuated from South Africa on that day.