South Africa: Parliament Concerned By Potential Effect of Bushiri Escape

press release

Portfolio Committee on IR concerned by potential effect of Bushiri escape

The Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation (IR) is concerned with the potential effect the Bushiri escape may have on diplomatic relations between South Africa and Malawi.

Mr Bushiri escaped South Africa last week without a valid explanation and while out on bail.

The Chairperson of the committee, Ms Tandi Mahambehlala, said it was important that relevant departments in both jurisdictions resolve the matter expeditiously.

"It cannot be appropriate for Mr Bushiri to pit regional trade partners against each other. Malawi and South Africa historically have strong bilateral and regional ties that ought to be strengthened and respected. The claims of xenophobia Mr Bushiri made in seeking sympathy from his government are a concern and could potentially compromise South Africa at a time when it should lead recovery of regional economies."

Ms Mahambehlala called on people not to lend credence to a story about the Malawian President smuggling Mr Bushiri out of the country at the conclusion of his state visit on Friday last week. "This matter has been clarified by both countries and if perpetuated further it may unjustly compromise President Lazarus Chakwera."

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