Protests: DRC shuts down embassy in Pretoria 'until next year'

2016-12-20 20:00


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - South Africans wanting to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) would not be able to get any visas from the country’s Pretoria embassy until the new year.

Citizens from that country who live in South Africa and who need new passports, would also have to wait.

DRC ambassador to South Africa, Bene M’Poko, on Tuesday said he had closed the embassy until January 4 because he feared for the safety of his staff, after protests in front of the embassy turned violent.

“I closed the embassy because I know what they are planning, and I’m a major target. They said they are planning to do what happened in Turkey,” he said.

The Russian ambassador in Ankara was assassinated by a police officer on Monday.

“They want to burn the embassy and they want to kills us,” he said of the protesters. “I can’t under those circumstances send my people to work. Their lives are dear, I can’t expose them to that.”

M’Poko said the South African police were unable to guarantee their safety, and people would not be able to come into the embassy when there were protesters in front of it anyway “threatening to burn and destroy it”.

M’Poko said some of his staff had to come in on Tuesday to issue some visas ahead of the protest, which turned violent and which resulted in Congolese nationals pelting their embassy with rocks and other objects.

“We had to give visas to people planning to travel to the DRC, including some members of the military from South Africa,” he said.

South Africa was expected to send extra troops to the DRC to reinforce the United Nations peacekeeping mission, despite the fact that a South African soldier was killed in the troubled north Kivu in the DRC on Monday. 

Read more on:    joseph kabila  |  sa  |  drc  |  central africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.