President Cyril Ramaphosa has reiterated South Africa’s commitment to landing a hand in ending terrorist attacks.
This is after Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that killed more than 300 people.
“South Africa will continue to use its non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to prioritise the fight against terrorism and extremist groups across the world,” Ramaphosa.
Islamic State (Isis) has claimed responsibility for the bombings, the group’s Amaq news agency said on Tuesday.
Explosions were also reported from three star-class hotels in Colombo while on Sunday afternoon, an explosion was reported from a hotel, opposite the zoo in Dehiwala in Colombo and another from a housing complex in Dematagoda, Colombo.
The government believes that National Towheed Jamaat was responsible for the attacks and investigations are ongoing to find out whether they had foreign links. National Thowheeth Jama’ath is a newly formed group in Sri Lanka committed to a militant and intolerant Islamist ideology.
Isis claimed they were the work of “fighters of the Islamic State”.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene said the attacks were a response to the recent mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” he said.
Tuesday has been declared a national day of mourning and white flags were hung from buildings across Colombo as a three-minute silence was held from 8.30am, about the time of the first of Sunday’s bombings that targeted three churches and three luxury hotels.
The Democratic Alliance said it was saddened by the attacks and that it was in mourning with the people of Sri Lanka.
“We condemn the bombings targeted at places of worship and hotels. We stand with the global community in affirming our belief in a world built on respect for religious and cultural diversity,” said DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi.