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Spat over mayor’s Taiwan visit heats up

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The African National Congress is “conveniently ignoring” that South Africa has a liaison office in Taipei for potential business relationships, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday, in defence of its Tshwane Mayor Solly Msimanga, who has been accused of breaking foreign policy protocol over his visit to Taiwan during the festive season.

Msimanga came under fire when it emerged that he had visited Taiwan to look for investment for the metro, in apparent violation of South Africa’s policy of only recognising one China.

In terms of that policy Msimanga was supposed to have liaised directly with the Chinese government in Beijing over his visit.

The ANC caucus in Tshwane has accused him of treason.

On Monday, the ANC kept the ongoing spat over the matter alive, with national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa saying, in a statement, that “renegade” officials should have their passports confiscated.

But the DA’s spokesperson on foreign affairs, Stevens Makgolopa, in a statement hitting back at Kodwa, quickly pointed out that South Africa has a liaison office in Taipei, for the very purpose of building business relationships between the two countries.

He is blaming the spat on the ANC’s refusal to accept that it lost control of Tshwane in the August 3 local government elections.

Ignoring this for political point scoring is why the country’s foreign policy is “in such a mess”, Makgolopa said.

“The DA reminds the ANC that neither the ANC nor the national government it runs can dictate who DA mayors meet with in order to obtain job-creating investment, and that such international trips are allowed.”

China is South Africa’s biggest trading partner.

[Source: News24]
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