SA backs SADC call for DRC to consider forming a government of national unity
PRETORIA -Pretoria has backed a call by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to consider a proposal to form a government of national unity.
This follows elections in the DRC the results of which were announced on Thursday.
On Saturday, the presidential runnerup Martin Fayulu filed a challenge to the election results in the DRC’s constitutional court, claiming that former president Joseph Kabila had done a backroom deal with the declared winner, opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi, the Associated Press reported.
Fayulu’s decision to do so was applauded by international relations and cooperative governance minister Lindiwe Sisulu at a press briefing yesterday.
While she would not be drawn on allegations that the election results were fraudulent, calling questions from reporters on this mere allegations, Sisulu said the DRC’s constitution allowed for such a legal challenge.
As such, it should be welcomed, she said. Also on Sunday, Sisulu was at pains to point out that South Africa did not want to prescribe to the DRC about what next steps it should take.
But if the DRC decided to take this route, South Africa had experience in this regard, having formed its own government of national unity at the end of apartheid, she said.
Doing so had been a difficult ‘pill to swallow’, she said, but it had ultimately been the right decision.
Sisulu said accusations had flown in, "fast and furious", that South Africa had been "quiet" on the DRC question since the election.
She said the country was not able to state its position publicly until the United Nations Security Council had discussed the issue, as South Africa had asked for that discussion to be postponed. It had now taken place.