Sisulu calls on law enforcement to act on recent xenophobic attacks

Zimbabweans In South Africa Living in Fear, Ramaphosa in Climb-Down

Zimbabweans In South Africa Living in Fear, Ramaphosa in Climb-Down

State House has expressed concern at the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa in which citizens of different African countries have fallen victim.

More than 100 foreigners, among them Zimbabweans, were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge at Sydenham Police Station.

The leader of the non-profit African Diaspora Union (AfriDu), Chidiebere Ogbu, cast the blame for the latest eruption of violence on Ramaphosa's remarks at the ANC manifesto launch in January.

This comes after graphic videos and images circulated on social media last week showing foreigners being attacked.

"Everybody just arrives in our township and rural areas and set bases without licenses and permits".

"I would like, through ANC delegates here, to appeal to President Ramaphosa to act and put an end to xenophobia attacks on Malawians happening in Durban".

Attacks against foreigners and foreign-run businesses have erupted regularly in recent years in South Africa - the most developed sub-Saharan economy.

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Ramaphosa defended African nationals in the latter part of his remarks saying majority were law abiding and living and working legally in South Africa.

"We reject this as the greatest form of self-hate amongst African South Africans [and] whatever the grievances, nothing justifies hatred-driven violence against African foreign nationals", said spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

The president said he personally condemns them in the strongest terms because this is not what South Africans do. They stood side by side with us as fought the liberation struggle.

We are giving you a month to pack all you bags and leave South Africa, whether you have working permits or not.

In her statement Sisulu said the South African government acknowledged the significant contribution and sacrifices made by the African continent for South Africans to be free and be liberated from the apartheid government.

South Africans vote in elections on May 8 and illegal immigration has been a key focus for some of the parties, notably the Democratic Alliance which accuses the ANC of failing to protect the country's borders.

"There is something that we are learning and it goes both ways, we are learning that whenever there is an issue people need to meet and talk about it and find solutions, initially it was an issue that confronted foreign drivers and local drivers but now in the discussions we need to include those employers that are taking advantage of the situation in which foreign truck drivers are paid low salaries".

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