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Parliament, Cape Town - South Africa's rejection of military rule in Egypt is unlikely to change, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said on Wednesday.
Replying to questions in the National Assembly, Motlanthe said South Africa's position remained in line with that of the African Union.
“South Africa continues to be guided by the AU Peace and Security Council and the AU High-Level Panel for Egypt,” Motlanthe said.
“We are informed that the AU remains engaged with all the parties to the conflict in Egypt in finding a sustainable resolution to the present political crisis in that country.”
ANC MP Tisetso Magama commended South Africa and the AU for their role in trying to defuse tensions in the North African country.
“However, we express concern on the matter of more than 900 people having died in clashes of violence in Egypt, mostly killed by their own government and of course the resultant destruction of property and churches,” Magama said.
Motlanthe said Magama's sentiments were in line with the South African government's.
Asked if South Africa would intervene, Motlanthe said: “As South Africa, we work through the AU high level panel which has been mandated by the AU to engage with all affected sectors of the Egyptian population to try and de-escalate tensions as well as to bring about peace.”
Motlanthe said though South Africa did not recognise the military regime, it had to engage it in efforts to find a solution to the crisis.
The deputy president could not indicate when the Egyptian Embassy in South Africa would be shut down.
“Once a coup happens in any country... because the situation is still very much in flux in that country, it takes a while for those relations to be severed completely and so the building and the staff will still be there,” he said.
“We still have our presence in Egypt. Our embassy is still there.”