National 1.8.2016 07:24 am

Pan African MPs don’t feel safe in SA

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Picture: Dirco

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Picture: Dirco

The shooting of an MP from Senegal with other Africans attending a Pan African Parliament session has thrown the spotlight on this apparently being an old problem.

Members of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) are demanding greater security from the South African government after a female MP from Senegal was shot during a hold-up after arriving at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg on Thursday.

Sources close to the PAP, which is based at Gallagher Estate in Midrand, said on Sunday that these attacks on MPs happened at every session of the parliament. A new session starts on Monday.

The Senegalese MP was ambushed on the way from the airport to her hotel. She and other MPs travelling with her were robbed of their valuables, including passports. She was recovering in hospital from her bullet wound. The other MPs were not injured.

“This is the third attack on MPs in the last three session of the parliament,” a source said. The MPs were ambushed en route to their hotels or at the gates of the hotel. “Each time the South African authorities have promised to increase security but it has not happened. We are hoping that now it will happen.”

He added that the PAP had been assured that police were investigating the attack. This source said the attacks were harming South Africa’s image on the continent.

Earlier, the South African parliament condemned the attack on members of the PAP, and said details surrounding the incident were still under investigation by the police.

“We can say with confidence that of the four members only [one] was seriously injured and is recovering in hospital,” parliament said in a statement.

The international relations and cooperation department (Dirco) had been offering continuous support to the members and had sent its representative to give counsel to those affected.

“Dirco will ensure that the members receive the necessary support with their travel documents that were taken during this robbery. Furthermore, a case has been opened with the Bramley police station, and the police are investigating the case with the hope to arrest the perpetrators,” the statement said.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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