Press Statement

27 August 2012

President Zuma sends condolences to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has sent his condolences to President Hugo Chavez, as well as the government and the people of Venezuela following the fatal explosion at the country’s largest oil refinery at Amuay over the weekend. A total of 39 people were killed in the accident and several were reported injured.

In expressing his condolences, President Zuma added: “Our hearts are with President Chavez, family and friends of the deceased, as well as the Government and the people of Venezuela during this difficult time of mourning”.

It was the worst industrial accident in recent memory in Venezuela. The refinery is owned by the state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). 
South Africa maintains excellent bilateral relations with Venezuela, as was illustrated during the most recent meeting in July 2012 of Senior Officials of the Joint Bilateral Commission held in Caracas. 

In expressing his condolences, President Zuma further said: “It is expected that the investigation into the tragedy will bring closure to those families who have lost their loved ones in line of duty to the great people of Venezuela”.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, 082 884 5974

Issued by the Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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