No justification for xenophobic attacks – South African president, AU chief

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by Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban

South African president Cyril Ramaphosa has reacted to xenophobic violence in parts of the country condemning the incidents as unacceptable and without any justification whatsoever.

In a video posted on his personal Twitter handle, Ramaphosa stressed the importance of restoring peace and security as quickly as practicable.

“I condemn the violence that has been spreading around a number of our provinces in the strongest terms,” he said.

He added that he was convening all ministers in the security cluster today to make sure that a very close eye was kept on what he described as “acts of wanton violence” and find ways of stopping them.

Ramaphosa said it was not right for locals with grievances to attack other nationals. He tasked security forces for their efforts at restoring order in Kwa Zulu Natal and Guateng provinces.

He also cited the fact that with an increasingly integrated Africa, South African workers also risked being attacked in other countries if others are to met out the same treatment South Africans are exhibiting today.

Cyril Ramaphosa @CyrilRamaphosa · 3h

I condemn the violence that has been spreading around a number of our provinces in the strongest terms. I’m convening the ministers in the security cluster today to make sure that we keep a close eye on these acts of wanton violence and find ways of stopping them.

Cyril Ramaphosa @CyrilRamaphosa

The people of our country want to live in harmony; whatever concerns or grievances we may have, we need to handle them in a democratic way. There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries.

Reports indicate that looting and clashes with security forces continued today in some parts of the country. Police have also confirmed more arrests in addition to the over forty recorded on Monday.

Nigeria, Ethiopia, Zambia, Zimbabwe governments and the Somali community in South Africa have reacted to the incidents.

The African Union Commission through Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat also condemned the violence and said it backed South African measures to restore law and order.

03 September 2019, Addis Abeba: AU statement on xenophobia in South Africa

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat condemns in the strongest terms, the incidents of violence against nationals of fellow African countries in South Africa, including the looting and destruction of their property. The Chairperson is encouraged by arrests already made by the South African authorities.

He calls for further immediate steps to protect the lives of people and their property, ensure that all perpetrators are brought to account for their acts, and that justice be done to those who suffered economic and other losses.

The Chairperson reiterates the African Union’s Commission continued commitment to support the South African government in addressing the root causes that led to these despicable acts, in order to promote peace and stability, within the framework of the African Union’s longstanding principles of continental solidarity.

Ebba Kalondo (Ms)
Spokesperson to the Chairperson
African Union Commission