French expulsion makes YCL see red

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

The French embassy will not apologise to the Young Communist League for the deportation of one of its members from France at the weekend.

The league has demanded an apology from the embassy and threatened to call for the termination of France's relations with South Africa following Malefo Mosimanyane's expulsion from the country on Sunday.

"If we don't get an apology within 48 hours we will instruct the ANC to shut down the French embassy," said YCL spokesperson Castro Ngobese.

"There is no reason to apologise as there was no misconduct by the French officials," said embassy spokesperson Irchad Razaaly.

Ngobese said Mosimanyane was detained and interrogated by French immigration police for nine hours at Paris International Airport before being deported.

He said Mosimanyane's deportation was an "imperialistic scare tactic camouflaged as an anti-terror measure".

Mosimanyane was on his way to a youth conference in Basque country. The Basque are an ethnic group on the border of Spain and France and have a strained relationship with both countries.

Razaaly said Mosimanyane was deported because he could not properly explain his reasons for visiting the country.

"He did not have a return ticket nor an invitation to the event. He also couldn't produce details of the people he was visiting."

Ngobese said Mosimanyane was invited to "share the South African experience of apartheid and oppression" at a youth conference in Basque country.

Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ronnie Mamoepa said: "We are following up the matter with French authorities."