Govt confirms Rwandan President Paul Kagame no longer attending WEF

Image credit: Flickr/Chatham House

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has confirmed that Rwandan President Paul Kagame will no longer attend the World Economic Forum for Africa (WEF).

WEF Africa is being held in Cape Town from 4-6 September. A number of African heads of state and government are expected to attend.

Speaking to SABC News, DIRCO spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele confirmed Kagame’s withdrawal.

Nothing to do with Gauteng unrest

However, he said the withdrawal has nothing to do with the ongoing unrest in parts of Gauteng.

I can confirm that we did receive confirmation from Rwanda that the president has withdrawn but we did not get indication that it is because of the sporadic violence taking place in South Africa at the moment.

Lunga Ngqengelele

Some reports have suggested that Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have also withdrawn from WEF Africa.

However, Ngqengelele said DIRCO has not received official communication from the two countries to that effect.

Main issue is criminality – Cele

The unrest in some parts of Gauteng has been linked to anti-immigrant sentiment.

This is because some shops owned by foreign nationals have been targeted for looting.

However, Police Minister Bheki Cele has emphasised that the main issue is criminality.

In an interview with SABC News on Wednesday morning, Cele said both South African and foreign-owned shops have been targeted.

I went to the streets where this thing started. There was a string of shops that were looted and burned. Among them were Shoprite, Usave, Pep – which are all South African shops.

Bheki Cele

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