Egypt “dismayed” as South Africa condemns Morsy overthrow

Egyptian officials have exchanged strong words with South Africa officials after the country's Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation called the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsy an unconstitutional change of government.
 
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has said it is "extremely dismayed" after South African officials insisted Morsy is the legitimate president.
 
The Foreign Ministry said in a statement the remarks betrayed an inaccurate understanding of developments in Egypt, based on false information that ignores the the will of the Egyptian people.
 
On Tuesday, the South African Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation issued a statement saying “the South African government expresses its deep concern at the high number of deaths amongst protesters demonstrating against the unconstitutional removal of Egypt’s elected president, Mr Mohamed Morsy.”
 
The statement added: “Violence against a legitimate protest does not further the cause of democracy or contribute towards healing differences between the people in a polarised society such as Egypt.”
Nearly 300 people have been killed in violence since Morsy was removed on 3 July, including 80 of his supporters gunned down at dawn on Saturday as they marched from a month-long vigil at a mosque in northern Cairo.
 
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry claimed the statement is paradoxical since Egypt was the first defender of the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. 
 
South Africa has now adopted a negative stance towards the Egyptian people in their struggle for democracy, it said.
 
“Instead of interfering in the internal affairs of an African country the size of Egypt, and instead of describing protests as legitimate – though protesters are using firearms and Molotov cocktails against security forces, blocking roads, and assaulting vital installations – the South African government should have heeded the rights of its mineworkers and refrained from practicing maximum degrees of repression on them,” the statement said.