President Jacob Zuma conveys condolences to the Government and the people of the Federative Republic of Brazil.

His Excellency President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma today, 24 June, conveyed his heartfelt condolences to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the Government and the people of the Federative Republic of Brazil, following extensive damage caused by heavy rains and floods in the North-eastern states of Brazil. The heavy rain has triggered the Mandau River to overflow its banks on Sunday, 20 June, resulting in a number of deaths and has left thousands of people missing and homeless.

President Zuma said: “At a time when we the people of the South should all be rejoicing on our achievements, I have learnt with a deep sense of sadness of the extensive damage that has been caused by the heavy rains in Brazil.”

 “It is unfortunate that natural disasters have become a common phenomenon around the world and continue to gravely afflict humanity at a time when people experience a myriad of development challenges. The disastrous consequences of climatic conditions we are experiencing reinforce our resolve to focus more of our attention to climate change and to work jointly so that we mitigate the negative effects and challenges facing our planet, especially developing countries. “

 “I have however observed, with some degree of relief, the emergency measures which the Brazilian Government has undertaken and continue to do so, including the construction of field hospitals, provisions of shelters by aid workers and health officials; who are all assisting with food and medical facilities to save and to support the affected communities.”

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of South Africa, I wish to extend our condolences to the Government, and the people of the Federative Republic of Brazil during this time of loss and sadness.”

“Along with the people of South Africa, I share the pain of those affected – our prayers and thoughts are with you at this time, and we wish the rescue and recovery teams deployed every success in their efforts.”

For more information, please contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647 or President Zuma’s spokesperson, Mr Vincent Magwenya on 072 715 0024.

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation
Private Bag X152
Pretoria, RSA
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Thursday, 24 June 2010

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