This is the flag of the African Union.
"This is very interesting that they&39;ve planned a closed session on these very sensitive issues," Louw-Vaudran said.
"South Africa is conscious of the impact of xenophobia and that there&39;s a certain amount of damage control that will have to be done."
At a briefing ahead of the summit, Foreign Minister Maite Nkoane-Mashabane was at pains to emphasise South Africa&39;s unity with its neighbours after the furore over the attacks on migrant workers.
"Our future is inherently linked to that of the rest of the continent. We are a member of the African family of nations, the AU, and we are fully committed to the success of the institution," she said.
The 54-member union, which is largely funded by international donors such as China and the United States, will also be questioning how to cover its own finances -- a cause that AU Commission Chairman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has championed.
"Without the AU being funded by its own member states, the independence and the credibility of the whole institution can (always) be questioned," Louw-Vaudran said.
The summit, which comes only five months after the last gathering of AU heads of state in Addis Ababa in January, risks achieving little, said Gilbert Khadiagala, head of the international relations department at the University of the Witwatersrand.
"A lot of issues are put on the agenda just to make broad statements, to say that Africa is concerned about the migration crisis, for example," he said.
Substantive discussions between leaders are rare, he said, as they instead prefer to tip-toe around issues to avoid creating friction.
Any discussions on Nkurunziza&39;s third-term ambitions in Burundi, for example, will have to politely ignore the fact that current AU chair Robert Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980.
"There needs to be an honest debate about why Africa&39;s struggle is always two steps forwards, three steps back," Khadiagala said.
Nkurunziza&39;s attendance has not yet been confirmed, officials said.
Mugabe and South African President Jacob Zuma are among the speakers scheduled for Sunday.