While criticizing Morocco, South Africa’s Minister mourns death of a Polisario representative

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South Africa's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. / DR

Days after the Polisario’s «ambassador» to South Africa passed away, the country’s Foreign Affairs minister Naledi Pandor mourned his death while denouncing Morocco’s «occupation of Western Sahara», IOL reports.

During a memorial service for Radhi-Sgaiar Bachir, Pandor said that «ambassador Bachir showed great passion and tireless determination in championing the Sahrawi cause for freedom and self-determination and was well known for his intellect and sharp analytical abilities».

The minister stressed that South Africa «must stand firm in its commitment and solidarity with the ‘Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic’, and assert the need to act on standing UN resolution especially a Referendum on Western Sahara».

Furthermore, Pandor reiterated her country’s support for the Front, insisting that «the occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco is illegal».  

For the record, the Front’s representative in Pretoria passed away last week whilst in hospital in Spain.

It is worth mentioning that diplomatic ties between Morocco and Pretoria have been marked by Pretoria’s support for the separatist movement. After a 15-year rupture, South Africa approved, in March, a Moroccan ambassador to South Africa.

Assuming office earlier this year, Youssef Amrani pledged in November to deepen diplomatic ties with South Africa for an inclusive development in Africa.

However, Amrani’s words were ignored following the Congress of the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) held in November in South Africa.

Days after the event which elected a Moroccan mayor, South Africa’s African National Congress promised to discipline members who refused to reject Morocco’s candidacy for chair of the United Cities and Local Government.

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