BEIJING, Feb. 13 (Xinhuanet) -- Vusi B. Koloane, minister plenipotentiary of South Africa in China, said on Monday that his government will do everything possible to "completely eliminate" crimes.
Koloane said during an exclusive interview with Xinhua that there was "no organized effort" against Chinese nationals in South Africa.
"We want a crime-free South Africa," he said. "We want to have zero crimes so that every person, irrespective of his nationality, working in South Africa will feel safe and be protected by the lawand by the citizens."
China has made representations to South Africa over a series ofcrimes and murders of Chinese citizens there and has urged its nationals to step up their vigilance in the country.
Armed robbers in South Africa have shot dead four Chinese people since this year, with the events making front-page news of many papers in China.
"We fully express our sadness, sympathy and condolences to the families of those Chinese nationals killed in South Africa. We equally express our condolences to the Chinese government because its nationals were killed in South Africa."
"We apologize and ensure the Chinese people that our governmentis investigating every single case," he said.
According to the Chinese embassy in South Africa, one recent case has been cracked by South African police with a suspect arrested.
Manqoba Nyembezi, tourism attache of South African embassy in China, also told Xinhua that there has been "significant progress"in the case of Hong Kong businessman killed on January 10 by two people who have been arrested and are waiting for trial.
Speaking of the impact that these incidents would have on exchanges of various kinds between the two countries, Koloane said that the latest incidents would have some negative impact, but the impact would be fairly small in the long run.
According to Nyembezi, South Africa issued more than 2,000 visas to Chinese nationals in the first 15 days of this year.
Media reports said that South Africa continues to remain China's largest trade partner in Africa with bilateral trade volume growing 23 percent year-on-year to 7.27 billion U.S. dollars in 2005.
But analysts here said that serial killings of Chinese in South Africa in 2004 pulled down the number of Chinese tourists to the country in 2005, which witnessed a decline of 14.9 percent on a yearly basis.
"We want zero Chinese people to be killed in South Africa for ever," Koloane said, adding that "we want no body to look down upon South Africa."
Analysts here attributed the high rate of crimes in South Africa to rampant use of guns, high unemployment rate and lack of death penalty.
There are more than 100,000 Chinese nationals doing businesses in South Africa, but the actual number is much higher, according to Koloane.
Some 30 Chinese nationals were reportedly killed in South Africa, but according to Koloane, the number was 24, namely 17 in 2004 and seven in 2005.