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Xenophobic Attacks Cannot Be Justified, Says S.A Govt

The South African government has reiterated its condemnation of xenophobic attacks going on in that country and has asked all African governments to assist in stemming the violence.

South African Ambassador to Ethiopia Ndumiso Ntshinga said this when he addressed the Peace and Security Council on the vandalism and looting of businesses and the violence and attacks against foreign nationals [in] some cities in the Southern African country.

“No matter what the grievances, such actions cannot be justified. No matter the frustrations, the loss of even a single life cannot be condoned. One death is too many. Allow me to take this opportunity to extend our sincere condolences to the families and friends of the eight South Africans and two foreign nationals who lost their lives as a result of the attacks. We also want to commend the response by our law enforcement agencies who managed to quell the situation. Arrests have been made which include both our citizens and foreign nationals. Operations are on-going to identify and deport those who are in the country illegally to their respective countries,” Ntshinga said.

“Chairperson, South Africa is a country that suffers from deep structural disparities, emanating from the legacy of apartheid. This manifests itself in extremely high levels of unemployment which is currently at 29% and one of the highest in the world, high level of poverty and increasing inequality. Unfortunately, our poor communities are the ones directly affected which evokes resentment towards foreign nationals who in most cases are undocumented as they compete for the limited opportunities and resources. We provide free housing, basic education, water, electricity and healthcare to the extremely poor in our country and our law does not exclude undocumented migrants from these services. Our Constitution stipulates that nobody shall be discriminated against from these basic services. In a situation where poverty and unemployment are rampant, conflict over limited resources will always be on the rise. It is worth noting that these outbreaks of violence happen within the most economically depressed communities of our country.”

He stated that not once has the government heard of such incidences occurring in the middle class to affluent residential areas where most professional and wealthy people reside who are both South Africans and foreign nationals.

 

“There are indeed a number of foreign nationals who contribute to our country’s socio-economic development by investing in the economy, and supplying critical skills in industries and social sector. Some of these foreign nationals have been resident in our country since 1994 and even their children have been born in our country and have not experienced any of these incidents. In fact, our policies are biased towards foreign nationals with skills and wanting to practise their professions in the country. It is equally important to mention that the resentment against migrants caused by the conduct of some unscrupulous private sector entities which consider them as a source of cheap labour with almost nonexistent labour rights,” Ntshinga said. “The people then direct their anger at the employees instead of the employers. This is more prevalent in the food and beverages, road transport and private security sectors. Similarly, it should also be stated that certain nationalities are overly represented in certain crimes such as drug trafficking, prostitution, human trafficking, human smuggling, violent and armed heists that are carried out with military precision, money laundering and illegal activities in the entertainment industry specifically in the nightclubs. When the foot soldiers of the perpetrators of such crimes are undocumented, it makes it extremely difficult for the law enforcement agencies to trace them. This creates a perception among communities that undocumented migrants are above the law and can commit crimes without any consequences. This leads to communities taking law into their own hands.”

He stated that the South African government took a deliberate decision not to have refugee camps but rather to integrate refugees in their communities.

“We did this out of desire to construct social cohesion and to live side by side as brothers and sisters rather than to isolate foreign nationals. This is a noble and humane approach that must be respected and promoted by all in our country. However, it is clear that undocumented migrants make it difficult for the integration policy to be rolled out as effectively as anticipated. We see on daily basis huge influx of illegal migrants moving into South Africa and there is very little that we can do to stem the tide. Consequently, it has placed an enormous pressure on our limited infrastructure and services such as education and health, including the very social cohesion as a societal value. Chairperson, South Africa has no intention or capacity to seal its borders on fellow Africans or any other nationalities,” Ntshinga said. “However, entry, stay and exit must be within the confines of the law. As a law based country, we expect our citizens and foreign nationals resident in our country to respect our laws and contribute to the fiscus as required by law. It is not the first time that this August body has discussed attacks against foreign nationals in South Africa. In our previous presentations, calls were made by this delegation for collective efforts that will assist to attain durable solutions to the problem. South Africa cannot deal with this on its own. The efforts by our law enforcement agencies only quell the situation without providing sustainable solution.”

He said the quelling of violence against foreigners in South Africa does not address the anger which is left alive and simmering.

“South Africa has absolutely no capacity to deal with this situation on her own. It is for this reason we once again call on the countries of origin, transit countries, regional and international organisations to work with South Africa to find a permanent solution. We are encouraged by the government of Nigeria for her willingness to work closely with our government to identify the root causes of the eruptions of violence and to finding a sustainable solutions to these problem,” stated Ntshinga. “We are also pleased for the emerging support by some African Heads of State that the incident in South Africa concerns us all. We hope this is just the beginning and further that other countries concerned will also share the same sentiment to assist us in finding a solution. We are also encouraged by the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) for planning a conference to discuss the avalanche of migrants in 6 South Africa and how best to deal with it, also calling on countries that gone through similar experiences to share their best practices. Undoubtedly, we also cannot ignore the push factors that lead people to leave their shores with the false hope of better opportunities. It is important that we dispel this myth that South Africa is a country that has greener pastures for all, which in reality does not exist. It is equally important that we should go beyond condemnation and lamentation of this problem. We rather should work together to find a lasting and durable solution as a collective of the governments and peoples in the countries of origin, transit countries as well as regional and international organisations as we have indicated earlier on.”

17 Comments

  1. Leonard Siame

    After all the damage you have caused.useless

  2. PTR7

    Just accept that you are wrong on this! Stop justifying the actions of your lazy SA citizens. You can’t say i did this because x did that. That is wrong. You are also very xenophobic!!!!!!! Wait, Africa will rise against you SAs if you continue on this path. Learn from Zimbabwe’s sanctions from International community.
    #afrficaunite

  3. COMEDIAN HH

    its easy to speak bad to those lost their beloved one.ukulu undapa umulwele ekukunyanta

  4. Impyakusu ichinyo

    Why can’t we just isolate this country from the rest of Africa

  5. Minister/ lawyer state lawlessness victim

    The AU peace and Security Ciuncil must also look into how Zambian Ministers/ lawyer used a Ugandan to intimidate and rob a Diplomat of her. Vehicle in abuse of the judicial process and state machinery. I am pained by the loss of life and property and I also lost my daughter and property in state lawlessness in Zambia. But a careful analysis where state agents and politicians used a foreigner in intimidating and stealing from me. Was and remains sickening , inhuman and indicates lapses or poor governance. I urge the AU peace and Security council to leave no stone unturned in addressing the root cause of Xenophobia in RSA. I have given them an example of a similar cause in Zambia.

    • Kaseba Martha

      No need for justification. S/Acns wait for every African Nation is watching

  6. CONCERNED CITIZEN

    NONSENSE SOUTH AFRICA;we have lost relatives in that country .

  7. Joe London

    Let us punish SA by sending their Diplomats back to their country and close their Embassies, stop them from participating in any sports activities across Africa.No import and export to and from SA.Let us isolate this country from the rest of Africa politically and economically.

  8. bayoka

    MWIKA CHISHIMBA KAMBWILI BOMBELENI PABENA SOUTH AFRICA SEND THEM BACK.

  9. Mwisho

    Ba South Africa baoyo they must be deported immediately. Amano ububi

  10. Mn

    Xenophobia bututu imwe ba south Africa,nimwe mwashala no bututu.the rest if Africas do not practice xenophobia.nomba imwe ninshi.we are one.let us love each other

  11. OMC

    Stop this kind of primitivity way of living. Killing your fellow human beings won’t solve your problems.

  12. Mr pint

    idiots

  13. Ezra Silas

    Be careful SA people…..

  14. Anon

    Childish sugar coated lies. Xenophobic attacks have now been institutionalized by the S.A govt. It is time to begin boycotting this evil govt the way we used to do it in the apartheid era then they will know they need us.

  15. Zm Franki

    If you ask me I will tell you that … It is very difficult for the SA govr to find solutions based on my understanding because from the way they defining the problem they saying it’s not xenophobic attack but criminality.. You get my point now if you ask them to find solutions they will focus on dealing with criminality and not xenophobe if truly xenophobe is the problem here then forgotten about the solution.. Because If you want to solve the problem you must now how to defined it… You can’t solve the problem like that … Am afraid.. My opinion thank you

  16. John Mary

    SA is to be Deleted from being one of the African union countries….

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