SA condemns Burundi coup attempt, calls for a democratic solution

2015-05-15 17:19
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

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

South Africa does not believe the answer to Burundi’s problems lies in a coup d’etat, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has said.

Nkoana-Mashabane told journalists today that South Africa’s government “condemns in the strongest possible terms any attempt to change a demoratically elected government through unconstitutional means”, referring to the attempted coup by a part of the army in the capital Bujumbura on Wednesday and yesterday.

Asked whether South Africa supported a third term for President Pierre Nkurunziza, Nkoana-Mashabane said the leaders of the East African Community “remain seized with working and giving support to the political leadership of Burundi to deal with that political aspect and their interpretation of their own constitution, whether second term meant end of this term, or earlier, or after,” she said.

Burundi’s constitutional court ruled in Nkurunziza’s favour when he claimed his first term didn’t count towards the two-term limit because he was elected then by Parliament, and not directly by the people.

This led to protests and the coup attempt.

“What we are emphasising is the solution to a political challenge and the interpretation thereof should not be that it leads to an unconstitutional change of government and unfortunate losses of innocent lives,” she said.

She said any change of government should be done democratically and in line with the 2000 Arush Agreement, which followed years of ethnic violence in Burundi.

“President [Jacob] Zuma sent envoys to Burundi and neighbouring countries very much in line with the peace process. We are still hopeful that in the spirit of finding African solutions for African problems even this political challenge of Burundi will be resolved,” she said.

She said Africa and the international community would not want to see Burundi “return to bloodshed again”.

She said: “South Africa reaffirms its support for the African Union’s principle rejection of unconstitutional change of government and its commitment to the rule of law and democratic processes and institutions.”

An official in the international relations department said the AU and regional bodies would likely have applied sanctions against Burundi, if the coup succeeded.

He added, however, that changing the constitution to extend a president’s time in power, known as “third term-ism”, was also considered unconstitutional, although the AU is sometimes slow to enforce sanctions on this.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa attended this week’s meeting of the East African Community in Tanzania, representing South Africa, which was part of the peace process in Burundi in the late 1990s and after.
Read more on:    maite nkoana-mashabane  |  burundi

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
ADVERTORIAL
Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

/News
 

How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…

 
 

You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.