Instead of calling protests that use firearms and molotov cocktails legitimate and meddling in Egypt’s domestic affairs, South Africa should have protected the rights of its protesting miners, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Tuesday.
The South African foreign ministry said: “violence against a legitimate protest does not further the cause of democracy” and won’t help heal Egypt’s polarised society, in a statement on Tuesday.
South Africa also said it was concerned about the high number of deaths of protesters “demonstrating against the unconstitutional removal of Egypt’s elected president [former president Mohamed Morsi].”
Egypt’s foreign ministry said it “strongly resents” South Africa’s statement that indicates an inaccurate analysis of the current situation that is based on false information and ignores the people’s will.
The foreign ministry said South Africa’s continued acceptance of the legitimacy of Morsi’s presidency is an “insult to the will of millions of Egyptians,” and condemned South Africa’s description of “the people’s revolution” as an unconstitutional change in government.
Egypt’s foreign ministry said it is “unfortunately ironic” how Egypt was among the first to support the South African people in their struggle against the apartheid, while South Africa is now taking a negative stance against the Egyptian people in their “attempt to correct the path of their revolution and struggle for democracy.”
South Africa said: “The unconstitutional removal of the democratically elected president and the suspension of the constitution of Egypt are in breach of the norms and standards adopted by the African Union.”
South Africa said it supports an inclusive political process as well as national reconciliation for all, and called for the release of Morsi, for restraint on all sides and asked the authorities to respect the rule of law and international human rights standards.
South Africa’s foreign ministry said it is ready to assist Egypt in its national reconciliation.