South African President Meets Greek Community

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has, in a recent meeting with representatives of the Greek, Italian and Portuguese communities, appealed for their help in reducing crime and has stressed the need for “zero tolerance to combat criminality”.

Presdident Zuma held the meeting to answer hundreds of questions he was faced from the three communities during a previous meeting in September 2008 in Johannesburg, when he was then head of the ANC party and a presidential candidate.

Last Thursday, as President of his country, he guaranteed the communities that his mandate was based on cooperation and dialogue with all sectors of South Africa’s society and aimed to resolve key national problems.

He was enthusiastically received by around 600 members of the HIP (Hellenic, Italian and Portuguese) alliance who responded positively to his elaborated speech, during which President Zuma addressed the topics that are most relevant to those particular communities, namely crime, the business climate, state corruption, education and health.

The Head of State was accompanied by 13 of his Governmental Ministers and two Vice-Ministers, as well as having invited the Portuguese Ambassador João Ramos Pinto, and the Italian and Greek Ambassadors. He said everyone must cooperate to help South Africa through a difficult time that has been worsened by the current global economic situation.

“We are ready to form a partnership with you as this country belongs to each and every one of us”, President Zuma told the Italian, Greek and Portuguese community representatives.

President Zuma further reassured those present that the combat of crime, particularly organized crime that largely victimizes women and children is being taken “very seriously”, highlighting the fact that a new national commissioner has been nominated to oversee the country’s police services tackling such issues.

Rounding off the meeting President Zuma urged representatives of the foreign communities to identify which key areas they would like to see tackled within their areas, and proposed more meetings between the four are held regularly.

“I challenge the HIP Alliance and their communities to identify the areas in which we can work together to resolve some of the problems identified and work towards a common vision of a better South Africa”, he concluded.



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