Saddened by the outrageous shootout at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, President Jacob Zuma has, on behalf of South Africa, sent a condolence message to the US government.
The deadly shootout by a 29 year-old US born Omar Mateen from of Fort Pierce, saw the instant death of 49 people with over 50 injured. This terror attack marks the deadliest mass shooting in the United States and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11.
Reports from Reuters also has it that Omar Mateen stormed the gay nightclub in Orlando with a handgun and AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The president, in the condolence message condemned the terrorist attack on the many innocent souls and added that such act was a clear indication of enormous hate for the LGBTI.
The message reads:
On behalf of the Government and the people of South Africa, His Excellency President Jacob Zuma has sent a message of condolences to the Government and the people of the United States of America following the shooting in Orlando, Florida, which has left about 50 people dead and scores injured. The South African Government has noted the comments by President Obama following the shooting, describing the incident as an “act of terror.”
The attack, which was targeted at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community, shows extreme levels of intolerance. South Africa fully recognises the rights of the LGBTI community and condemns in the strongest possible terms any violent attack targeted at the community.
President Zuma said: “The South African Government and people stand with the people of the United States, particularly the families of those that have lost their lives, during this difficult time. We wish all the injured speedy recoveries. We strongly condemn all forms of terrorism, particularly this incident which has claimed so many innocent lives.”
The scourge of terrorism and violent extremism require that nations of the world come together and work jointly towards a coordinated international response to this dangerous phenomenon.
Omar Mateen who pledged allegiance to ISIS while launching his attack, was reported by the states FBI, to have undergone an interview with the FBI in 2013 and 2014 but was not found to be a threat.