The South African Government categorically condemns the violence used by the Egyptian security forces to disperse the pro-democracy demonstrators in Cairo and elsewhere in Egypt yesterday.
The tragic loss of Egyptian lives takes Egypt further away from the democratic aspirations as expressed by the millions of Egyptian voters last year.
The South African Government calls on the Egyptian authorities to exercise utmost restraint in dealing with peaceful protests.
The South African Government calls on the interim authority to end the bloody actions against its own people; to conduct a credible and transparent judicial investigation against those who committed the massacres since 30 June 2013; to unconditionally release all political detainees; and to launch a genuine and comprehensive transition process so as to allow for the return to constitutional normalcy and democratic legitimacy. It is also incumbent on those forces responsible for law and order to protect civilians and prevent further bloodshed in Egypt.
It is of vital importance for all Egyptians to embrace the spirit of national reconciliation that will bring about peace and stability in Egypt. An Egyptian-led, all-inclusive negotiated process remains the only option for Egypt to get out of the present impasse. South Africa remains ready to assist Egypt by sharing experiences and lessons from our own political transition from apartheid rule to a democratic dispensation.
On her part, South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, discussed the worrying, volatile situation in Egypt with her counterparts in the region on the sidelines of the current Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit in Malawi.
Peace and stability in Egypt is crucial to the North African region and the African continent as a whole. Accordingly, the South African Government welcomes the initiative of the African Union (AU) to send a new mission to Egypt to assist this sisterly country to return to democratic transformation and constitutional normalcy.