Tshwane mayor's Taiwan visit an act of treason: ANC

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: Masi Losi/Independent Media

Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga. Picture: Masi Losi/Independent Media

Published Dec 28, 2016


Johannesburg – A recent trip by Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga to Taiwan amounted to treason and violated the 'One China' policy between South Africa and China, the African National Congress (ANC) said on Wednesday.

"The trip did not only expose the conspiracy against BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) but also exposed the limited understanding of Mr Msimanga on his roles and powers as well as his understanding on the functioning of the three layers of the state which are inter-related and inter-dependent," the ANC Tshwane caucus said in a statement.

"Whilst at the same time they all operate according to the Constitution and laws and policies made by national Parliament, local government may not do anything that is against the laws or policies set down by national government. We are without no doubt characterising this trip as treason and we will be consulting with the MEC of COGTA and law enforcement agencies on the implications of this trip."

Msimanga caused a diplomatic stir when he visited Taiwan's capital Taipei, ignoring cautions by the Department of International Relations not to visit the country. The department's spokesman Clayson Monyela said the trip was not sanctioned by government, and that Msimang was advised not to visit Taiwan.

"SA government respects the one China policy," said Monyela. South Africa's ties with Taiwan came to an end during former president Nelson Mandela's administration in 1998 when he officially recognised China over Taiwan. China and Taiwan had split after a civil war in the 1940's. However, the two countries enjoy economic ties.

Msimanga's spokesman, Samkelo Mgobozi, shrugged off the criticism and said the mayor was invited by his counterpart in Taipei and that he used his personal leave and time off work to explore investment opportunities in the eastern country.

"Creating opportunities for our people should transcend party politics and be a joint effort to explore all opportunities to liberate our people from poverty," said Mgobozi.

African News Agency

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