IN QUOTES | Naledi Pandor denies claims she helped the Bushiris flee SA

15 December 2020 - 07:23
By unathi nkanjeni AND Unathi Nkanjeni
International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor.
Image: Sunday Times / Simphiwe Nkwali International relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor.

International relations minister Naledi Pandor says the extradition of self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife, Mary, is being dealt with by the Department of Justice.

Speaking during a media briefing on international travel developments, Pandor once again denied that her department had anything to do with Bushiri's escape to Malawi a few weeks ago.

Pandor previously disputed claims that suggested she “intervened” in the escape of the Bushiris.

Here are fives key quotes from her Monday address:

Bushiri's extradition 

“On the matter of Mr Bushiri, I do not have any updates. The extradition matters are dealt with by the Department of Justice and we would of course assist them with transporting any documentation or request to the Malawian government.

“Suffice to say, the statement in the Sunday Independent three weeks ago that I assisted in the escape of Mr Bushiri is a total lie and I deny it with the contempt it deserves.”

Challenges to repatriate citizens

“From the time the president announced SA’s level 5 lockdown on March 15 to the time when international travel was again allowed under level 1, my department, through our consular services managed to repatriate just over 30,000 South Africans who were stranded from all corners of the world, using over 350 flights.

“The number excludes tens of thousands who used our land borders. I know many spent sleepless nights, working seven days a week trying to bring our fellow citizens back to their loved ones.”

Travel at your own risk

“Countries in the northern hemisphere are encountering a second wave of the pandemic. South Africans should be cautious in travelling to these countries as you might become distressed or even destitute abroad pending the levels of lockdown in the respective countries and with the likelihood of  international flights that might be cancelled at short notice.

“Please note that you will be travelling at your own risk to these countries knowing the current circumstances and the uncertainty going forward.

“Please ensure that you are familiar with the immigration and health entry requirements of the country you will visit and SA’s entry health requirement during the Covid-19 pandemic”

Vaccine nationalism is a real problem 

“There are fears that the richer countries of the globe may hoard vaccine stocks and use intellectual property rights to block access to vaccines by developing countries.

“Vaccine nationalism is a very real threat as it will create supply problems to poorer countries thereby denying their citizens access to life-saving vaccines.

“The AU Commission and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are giving close attention to this and seeking ways of ensuring all countries have access.”

SA's 2021 vision depends on international support

“SA needs international support and, in particular, investments and debt relief, to deliver the president’s vision of accelerated industrialisation, women’s empowerment and youth employment. We must focus 2021 on economic reconstruction and recovery implementation alongside a focus on the pandemic.”