Jacob Zuma says fight with Rwanda isn’t unusual

2014-03-11 12:26

President Jacob Zuma has dodged a question on the state of South Africa’s diplomatic relations with Rwanda following the mutual expulsion of diplomats.

“Even the most advanced democracies fight when diplomats misbehave,” Zuma told an audience of ministers, civil servants, journalists and analysts attending the launch of the presidency’s Twenty Year Review document.

Nobody in the South African government has been willing to comment on the expulsion of three Rwanda diplomats over the weekend following an attempted hit on exiled former Rwandan army chief General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.

Department of international relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela indicated on Twitter that Cabinet should take a decision on how to communicate the matter, saying his “hands are tied”.

He referred queries to ministers in the security cluster, which have been unable to deal with queries.

A source close to Zuma, who is not authorised to speak on the matter, said foreign policy vested in him and he should be handling queries.

The source said attempts had been made to handle the issue on a political level, but these have so far failed.

Diplomatic ties have, however, not been severed.

Rwanda has retaliated by expelling six South African diplomats, with its foreign minister, Louise Mushikiwabo, tweeting that they had been expelled because South Africa was harbouring “terrorists”.

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