President Zuma has sent a message of condolences to French President Francois Hollande after 153 people were killed in attacks around the country on last night.
“The South African president has already made contact to send a message of condolences to President Hollande, the government, and the people of France following this incident. We have them in our thoughts and prayers and are standing with them,” said Department of International Relations and Co-Operation (Dirco) spokesperson Clayson Monyela.
“South Africa condemns this terrorist attack in the strongest terms possible and we will co-operate. [The] international community needs to rally around countries that are vulnerable to this and fight terrorism at all costs. We absolutely condemn it in the strongest terms possible.”
At the same time, Dirco is working to establish the safety of citizens based in the country.
”We have been in touch with our embassy ever since this incident took place. One, we wanted to ascertain the safety of our own staff there at the embassy that we know for sure are in France and based in France. They are all accounted for.
”France is hosting Cop 21 so we do have a few officials already there, doing some of the work, some of the negotiators, so all of those are accounted for. So that is a relief.”
Dirco also has an emergency operations centre which can be reached on (+27) 012-351-1000as a contact point for concerned families and friends in South Africa.
Dirco had not been alerted to any South Africans injured or killed in the early hours of the attacks, which has also led to all borders being closed.