The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration of Ghana, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, called on her South African counterpart Ms. Maite Nkoana- Mashabane on 13th March, 2017.
The purpose of the meeting was to enable Hon. Botchwey ascertain the facts relating to the recent attacks on African migrants in some parts of South Africa in February 2017 and to particularly address the issue of security as well as the welfare of Ghanaians and their businesses in South Africa.
Referring to the recent attacks on African migrants in Guateng province, Hon. Botchwey thanked the South African Government for condemning the perpetrators and for moving swiftly to deploy the police to prevent further attacks.
The Hon. Foreign Minister acknowledged that although no Ghanaian fatality had been recorded, she stressed that her Government under the sterling leadership of H.E President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was concerned about the welfare and security of Ghanaian nationals resident in South Africa, due to the reoccuring nature of the attacks.
Hon. Botchwey expressed optimism that the competent South African authorities would undertake measures to curb the apprehension created within the Ghanaian communities as a result of the incessant attacks.
On her part, Ms. Maite Nkoana- Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa, welcomed Hon. Botchwey and congratulated her on her appointment as Foreign Minister.
The South African Foreign Minister assured her counterpart that Ghanaians would never be the target of attacks in South Africa. She also explained that, the recent attacks had criminal underpinnings when she linked the attacks to “property hijacking” .
Referring to the suburb of Rosettenville,which was the suburb of the first attacks, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane stated that when she visited the area, both South Africans and Ghanaian residents were living together peacefully. She however stated that the residents showed her six (6) houses in the area where drugs were allegedly manufactured which provided accommodation to persons suspected of property hijacking and brothel operation. She therefore pointed out that the Xenophobic attacks on Ghanaians was blown out of proportion.
Hon. Minister Nkoana-Mashabane called for a united Africa and stated that although the bilateral relations between Ghana and South Africa were good, Diplomatic Missions should be used as a point of call to unite both Ghanaians and South Africans.
Concluding the meeting, Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey reiterated her expectation that the recent attacks would not adversely affect the relations between Ghana and South Africa.