Msimanga's Taiwan visit in breach of foreign policy: Dirco

JOHANNESBURG, 03 JANUARY 2017 - The International Relations Department (Dirco) says Solly Msimanga ignored their advice not to visit the island. His party, the Democratic Alliance says there was nothing illegal about the trip. Video: eNCA
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga's visit to Taiwan was in breach of South Africa's foreign policy. Photo: Gallo / Thapelo Maphakela

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga's visit to Taiwan was in breach of South Africa's foreign policy.

“The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) wishes to place it on record that the recent trip to the city of Taipei in Taiwan, undertaken by councillor Solly Msimanga, executive mayor of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, was in breach of South Africa's foreign policy and is highly regretted,” Dirco said in a statement.

It said it was made aware of the visit and advised mayor Msimanga “not to undertake the visit as it would constitute a breach of our One China Policy”.

“In a move that is highly regrettable, Mayor Msimanga disregarded Dirco's advise and proceeded with the visit,” said Dirco.

According to the department, Taiwan is not recognised as a sovereign state by South Africa and the United Nations.

South Africa maintains a liaison office in Taipei as does the Taiwanese in Pretoria.

“Representatives of any sphere of government must ensure that their engagements with international entities are aligned to existing mechanism and programmed and that such relations are coordinated in a manner that advances South Africa's foreign policy and national interests,” added Dirco.

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