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President Jacob Zuma sent condolences on Monday to the Republic of the Sudan after the deaths of three government ministers and several senior officials in a plane crash.
“It is an absolute tragedy that on a day upon which Muslims should be celebrating, the Sudanese nation is in mourning instead,” Zuma said in a statement.
The delegates were en route to a religious festival to mark the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan when their plane crashed in mountains in South Kordofan on Sunday.
Zuma said: “Our hearts and prayers are with the families of the deceased, as well as the government and the people of Sudan during this difficult time.”
The ministers killed have been named as: religious affairs minister Ghazi al-Sadeq, youth and sports minister Mahjoub Abdel Raheem Toutou, and tourism antiquities and wildlife minister Eissa Daifallah.
Another 28 people, believed to be from the military, state security, state media and plane crew were also killed.
It remains unclear whether the plane belonged to the state-owned Sudan Airways or another airline.
Although the cause of the accident has yet to be established, Sudan's state news agency Suna blamed bad weather. - Sapa