SA congratulates Goodluck Jonathan

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pretoria -The South African government has congratulated and conveyed its well wishes to newly re-elected Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.

In separate statements, both Cabinet and the Department of International Relations reiterated SA's wish to strengthen its ties with Jonathan's government.

"The South African government wishes to reaffirm its desire to further enhance its strong relations with President Jonathan and his government, as well as with the people of Nigeria," International Relations' spokesperson Clayson Monyela said. 

Results showed Jonathan, the first Head of State from the Niger Delta oil region, as the clear victor in Saturday's election, with close to 23 million votes to just over 12 million for his nearest rival, former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari.

Monyela said government had also noted a statement by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) Election Observation Mission in Nigeria and Commonwealth Observers that the election met the criteria of being free, transparent and credible.

SA also took note of the incidents of discontent, leading the loss of life and destruction of property. 

"[We] wish to implore all parties and voters to accept the outcome of the elections, and if necessary, to utilise the legitimate channels to express their grievances," added Monyela.

Media reports indicate that post-election unrest in northern Nigeria saw about 200 people killed and 40 000 displaced.

Cabinet also expressed concern about the regional hotspots like Libya, Swaziland and Ivory Coast. 

In Cote d'Ivoire, it encouraged the people of that country to peacefully resolve their presidential matters.

Cabinet expressed concern about the continued loss of human lives in Libya and reiterated its previous calls for cessation of hostilities from all sides, and is in full support of the AU statement that seeks to restore peace.

Cabinet also welcomed the enthusiastic participation of South Africa in the BRICS bloc. 

Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said at the post-Cabinet briefing on Thursday: "This participation is seen as a major milestone in asserting South Africa as a serious player in the global economic landscape." - BuaNews