Migrants' grim deaths a prod for all to improve economies: Ramaphosa

25 March 2020 - 14:48 By Qaanitah Hunter
The 64 dead people found in a container were believed to have been trying to enter SA illegally.
The 64 dead people found in a container were believed to have been trying to enter SA illegally.
Image: SUHAIB SALEM

President Cyril Ramaphosa has bemoaned the deaths of 64 suspected migrants who had stowed away in a truck heading for SA.

The truck with an airtight container was discovered on Tuesday by Mozambican authorities and was believed to be en route from Malawi.

Ramaphosa, as chairperson of the AU, said on Wednesday that this was a “devastating tragedy for our continent”.

Media reports suggest 14 migrants survived the tragedy.

“This incident reminds us of the continuing toll exacted by the movement of people across our continent who face grave danger as they undertake these journeys in which illicit networks play a role,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa commended Mozambican authorities on their vigilance which led to the grim discovery.

“We must redouble our efforts to secure peace, stability and development in all parts of our continent to create opportunities that will allow people to actualise their human potential wherever they are in Africa,” he said.

The victims were discovered in a blue cargo container loaded on to a haulage truck, according to pictures seen by AFP. Mozambique is generally seen as a smuggling corridor for migrants seeking to make their way to South Africa.

“The desperate movement of people across our continent or between our continent and other destinations is a clear call on all of us to create and sustain economic opportunities that will change the fortunes of all Africans for the better,” Ramaphosa said.


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