Injured South Africans were spectators

2013-04-16 13:12

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The two South Africans injured in the twin Boston bombings were spectators and not athletes, the international relations department has said.

“Those South Africans initially reported as runners were in fact spectators,” the department’s spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, said today.

“They were treated for minor injuries and released, and we continue to monitor the situation there.”

He also confirmed that 28 South African runners participated in the Boston marathon, which ended in bloodshed after two blasts that killed three people and left more than 100 injured.

Meanwhile, South African political parties and unions have voiced their disgust at those responsible for the two bombs.

“There can be no justification for such a despicable attack,” said ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu today, adding that it deserved world condemnation.

“The ANC condemns the senseless and dastardly act of terrorism that happened in Boston.

“We welcome the speedy response of the ... department of international relations ... in supporting the two South Africans who were injured in the blast,” said Mthembu.

He called on the S government to do everything in its power to track down those responsible.

“We also call on the world community under the auspices of the United Nations to join hands in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

“The ANC remains committed to resolving any differences through peaceful negotiations and not war. It is in this context that we condemn the Boston blasts.”

The ANC, the Democratic Alliance, union federation Cosatu, and the IFP sent condolences to the families of the deceased, and wished the injured a speedy recovery.

DA spokesperso Mmusi Maimane said in a statement that the bombing was a “deplorable act”.

He further said: “The injured South Africans, their friends, and their family are in our thoughts and prayers this morning. We wish them a speedy recovery and a safe return home.”

Maimane also commended the move by the international relations department to send consular officials to the scene to assist South Africans and others.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven also sympathised with the families of those killed and said the union was “absolutely outraged” by the incident.

“That such an act could have been committed against people engaged in a peaceful sporting event,” he said, urging Western authorities to find and arrest the perpetrators.

IFP MP Ben Skosana asked: “What kind of evil seeks out the indiscriminate killing and maiming of innocent civilians?”

He said people participating in the annual marathon “suddenly found themselves in the middle of a war zone”.

“Our hearts go out to the victims and families of victims of this terror attack.”

He appealed to the international relations department to ensure the two injured South Africans received the best possible medical care.

Clifford Cobers, an administrator for the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee, said it had received no information on South African runners.

“We haven’t heard anything about that. We’ve had no correspondence whatsoever from Boston,” Cobers said.

All of South Africa’s participants, including Rene Kalmer and wheelchair racer Ernst van Dyk, were competing as individuals for their respective clubs, and not under the Athletics SA banner.

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