Qaanitah Hunter- Cii news- August 6, 2012
The South African Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional affairs (CoGTA) has found ‘no problem’ with the decision to award freedom of the city of Cape Town to US president Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle.
The Mayor of Cape Town, Patricia De Lille, in May, recommended that freedom of the city be given to the Obamas, and it was passed in council and thereafter referred to CoGTA where Minister Richard Baloyi was expected to make further recommendations.
“The minister does not have any problem with the process itself, it is just some internal protocols which the municipality have ordained have not met the regulation,” spokesperson Nghamula Nkuna said.
He said that the Minister already issued advice to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the South African Presidency.
Trade union federation COSATU, the Pan African Congress (PAC), the Muslim Judicial Council , the Al Jamaah party, the SA Council of Churches, National Party of South Africa, the Western Cape ANC, United Democratic Movement, COPE, Sangoco, were united in their objection to the Obamas receiving the award.
Nkuna said the concerns that CoGTA raised were minor ones involving protocols and did not mention any recommendation about the legitimacy of the Obamas to receive the award.
“We have just given our advice and we are hoping that it is dealt with accordingly by the two upper bodies,” he said.
However DIRCO spokesperson, Clayson Monyela, expressed ignorance and shock at the matter saying as far as he knows it has nothing to do with DIRCO.
“We will probably get involved in conveying the message but in terms of any decision we do not get involved,” he told Cii News.
Presidential spokesperson, Mac Maharaj could not be reached for comment.
Tags: Barack Obama, CoGTA, Freedom of Cape Town