Pretoria: President Jacob Zuma has condemned the terrorist attacks in France which have killed over 100 people.
“The South African government joins the international community in strongly condemning the terrorist attacks that took place in Paris, France on the night of 13 November 2015, which resulted in the deaths of scores of innocent civilians,” said President Zuma on Saturday.
In a statement issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, President Zuma conveyed a message of condolences to French President Francois Hollande, the government and people of France and particularly the families of the victims.
“South Africa stands firmly with the rest of the international community in its condemnation of attacks targeting innocent civilians and reiterates its stance that terrorism, in whatever form and from whichever quarter, cannot be condoned.”
The South African Embassy in Paris is closely monitoring developments and will report to Pretoria as soon as information is available on the wellbeing of South African citizens.
Gunmen opened fire at different locations in the capital, including the Stade de France, on Friday.
According to Paris Prosecutor Francois Molins the provisional death toll of the attacks is 129. A total of 352 people were injured and at least 99 are critical.
Among the 129 victims, 89 were killed during the shooting and hostage taking in Bataclan theatre, Molins told the press.
Seven attackers were neutralized and three were killed during the assault carried out by security forces to rescue hostages taken in Bataclan theatre.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma also conveyed her condolences and solidarity with President Hollande, the people of France and families of victims.
“I learnt with shock and disbelief of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France, while travelling back from the Migration Summit in Valletta, Malta,” said Dlamini Zuma.
She said the African Union condemns in the strongest terms the “despicable and barbaric” acts, and called for an immediate pursuit of the perpetrators to be apprehended and brought to book.
While wishing a speedy recovery to the physically wounded and psychologically traumatised victims, the AU Commission Chairperson said the African Union stands in solidarity and in full support of the people of France.