No South Africans killed or seriously injured in hajj stampede

2015-09-25 17:46
Rescue workers attend to victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage. (File, AP)

Rescue workers attend to victims of a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia during the annual hajj pilgrimage. (File, AP)

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Johannesburg - No South Africans were killed or seriously injured in the hajj stampede in Saudi Arabi, the department of international relations said on Friday.

This was confirmed by the South African embassy in Jeddah, spokesperson Clayson Monyela said.

More than 700 people were killed in the stampede on Thursday morning and more than 800 injured.

Reuters reported the disaster was the worst to occur on the pilgrimage since July 1990, when 1 426 pilgrims suffocated in a tunnel near Mecca. Both incidents occurred on Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), Islam's most important feast and the day of the stoning of the devil ritual.

Political parties and government sent their condolences to those who lost family and friends in the stampede.

The DA said it was tragic that the incident happened on such a sacred pilgrimage.

"Our thoughts are with those affected by this devastating event," DA MP Stevens Mokgalapa said in a statement.

Earlier, Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa sent condolences, on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, government and the people of South Africa, to the families of those who died.

"Acting President Ramaphosa said that for South Africans, the stampede was particularly tragic given its coincidence with Heritage Day, an occasion dedicated to celebrating the diversity of the nation and humanity at large," Dirco said earlier in a statement.

The ANC expressed sadness at the death of more than 700 people carrying out their religious rites.

"We share this sad moment with the Muslim community the world over. May the souls of the departed rest in peace," national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  saudi arabia  |  hajj stampede

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