Migration and world peace highlighted by top SA government appointees


A senior South African Parliamentary official wants “no effort spared” to rid the world of conflict with a Cabinet Minister calling for a “transparent investigation” following migrant deaths at a Spanish enclave in separate statements on aspects of foreign policy.

National Assembly (NA) Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula used last week’s Non-aligned Movement (NAM) conference of Parliamentarians in Azerbaijan to call for Palestine and Western Sahara to be included in “building world peace”.

A day before the NAM conference, International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor expressed “regret and concern” over injuries and at least 23 deaths among migrants attempting to “cross the border from Morocco into the Spanish city of Melilla (sic)”. She wants “an immediate independent, effective and transparent investigation” into what was yet another apparently illegal migrant attempt to access the Spanish enclave – one of two – in North Africa.

A Parliamentary statement has it Mapisa-Nqakula, a former defence and military veterans minister, “implored” the NAM parliamentary network to “remember and pursue the cause of the people of Palestine as they did in fighting apartheid and colonialism in South Africa”. It adds the Speaker told delegates the network “has an opportunity to define its goal and mission through, among others, interventions that would free the world of wars and subjugation of nations such as Palestine and Western Sahara”.

A Department of International Relations and Co-operation (DIRCO) statement said “violent incidents meted out to migrants are increasing globally” adding there is “similar anti-migrant sentiment in South Africa”.

Aside from challenging the “very foundations of our constitutional democracy” anti-migrant sentiment “could lead to mass violence against migrants irrespective of their status”.

Minister Pandor called for commitments by all states to treat migrants and their families with the human rights accorded them under international law in view of what is termed “national, regional and global trends”.