South Africa: Ministers to meet African ambassadors over violent attacks

PRETORIA, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Police Minister Bheki Cele will Monday meet with Heads of the Diplomatic Missions in South Africa following reports of attacks on foreign nationals.

In a statement, Sisulu expressed deep concern at the recent spate of violence and urged law enforcement officers to deal with the criminals leading the attacks.

During the attacks, which occurred in parts of Durban and Limpopo, foreign nationals were attacked, while their property and goods were looted and damaged.

Sisulu said the African continent had contributed and sacrificed a lot for South Africans to be liberated from the apartheid government.

South African companies and our citizens are welcomed and loved across the continent. Here at home, we should do the same, we must embrace our neighbours and fellow South Africans, Sisulu said.

The Minister said at international fora like the United Nations, African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African continent and all countries in the world looked to South Africa for leadership.

South Africa has been supported by all African countries and many countries in the world to have a non-permanent seat in the UNSC. It is currently the Vice Chairperson of the AU and the Chair of AU in 2020. These responsibilities require that we must welcome and lead in building bridges between nations, particularly in SADC and the continent.

All of us must stand up and send a strong message that violence, all criminal activities and looting of properties of foreign nationals will not be tolerated, and the police and other law enforcement agencies must act without fear or favour, Sisulu said.

The meeting will focus on how ambassadors and government can work with communities and all stakeholders to foster integration in communities.

Xenophobia against migrants from other African countries is not new in South Africa.

In 2015 unrest in the cities of Johannesburg and Durban claimed seven lives as immigrants were hunted down and attacked by gangs.

South Africa experienced its worst outbreak of violence against foreigners in 2008, when more than 60 people died.

Source: Nam News Network