Xenophobic attacks worry SA govt

By Staff Reporter

SOUTH Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu says reports of xenophobic attacks that have re-emerged in that country are a great concern to her government.

In a statement issued by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations at the Zambian High Commission in South Africa Naomi Nyawali, Sisulu said that her government was working closely with the police and other law enforcement agencies to ensure that security was provided to people living in South Africa.

She said her government will work closely with members of the diplomatic corps to ensure that regular updates were given concerning reports of alleged xenophobia.

Sisulu was speaking at an urgent meeting held with Ambassadors and High Commissioners from the African region held at the Department of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria.

She noted that safety of people living in South Africa was a collective responsibility and as such, SADC member countries would be actively engaged to find a solution

Sisulu assured that her government would guarantee that all people including foreign nationals were safe.

She also stated that police would ensure that trucks and their trade routes were made safe.

The meeting was held in the wake of xenophobic and criminal attacks against foreign nationals in Sprinfield, Durban.

In that attack 300 Malawians were displaced from their homes and are sheltering at a police station in Springfield.

Others that attended the meeting was the Police Minister Bheke Cele and his Police Commissioners.

And Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba said reports of xenophobia were distressing.

He said some public remarks by identified civic leaders in that country had capacity to incite violence.

Mwamba advised that inflammatory remarks are avoided especially during the sensitive period of elections due on 8th May 2019.

He also appealed to government to openly condemn remarks that have been made against foreign nationals as they could fuel xenophobic attacks.

Mwamba added that reports of re-emerging xenophobia in some parts of South Africa were working against the principles espoused by the African Union and SADC that call for free trade area and free movement of people.