The South African government has expressed concern over the current situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Department of International Relations and Co-operation (Dirco) said on Tuesday.
This after Congolese living in South Africa protested outside the embassy in Pretoria against President Joseph Kabila. Kabila looks set to stay on despite the expiry of his mandate.
“These incidences threaten the hard-won democratic gains made by the DRC through the past two elections," spokesperson Clayson Monyela said in a statement referring to Kabila.
Protesters had earlier pelted the embassy with stones and with any other object they could find.
The were shouting: Kabila must go.
French news agency Agence France-Presse reported that Congolese opposition head Etienne Tshisekedi called on citizens to "no longer recognise" Joseph Kabila as president in a video released on YouTube.
"I am launching a solemn appeal to the Congolese people to no longer recognise the authority of Mr Joseph Kabila, to the international community to no longer deal with Joseph Kabila in the name of the Democratic Republic of Congo," 84-year-old Etienne Tshisekedi, leader of the country's mainstream opposition party said.
A court has said Kabila can remain in power until a new election. The ruling party says there is "no possibility" of one in 2017. The opposition wants it as soon as possible. Exercise restraint Tshisekedi is calling on people inside and outside DRC to no longer recognise Kabila's authority and calls his actions "treason".
However, the SA government called on parties to seek peaceful solutions to the political developments in the DRC in line with the country's Constitution and the Security Council Resolution 2277 (2016). “The South African Government supports the outcomes of the National Political Dialogue facilitated by AU facilitator Mr Edem Kodjo, as well as the current National Episcopal Conference of Congo's (CENCO) direct talks led by President Mr. Marcel Utembi."
South Africa likewise renews the call on all stakeholders to uphold the principles, ideals and aspirations of the Congolese people as enshrined in the DRC Constitution in accordance with the SADC and AU principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.“South Africa continues to call on all parties to exercise restraint and to take urgent steps to end the violence and restore the protection given to the people of DRC through its Constitution. Likewise, the Congolese Diaspora is urged to work through their political leaders in the DRC, and not to resort to violence.”Government also called on the international community to assist the DRC.