By TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG – SOUTH Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) has condemned in strongest terms the renewed xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals living in Gauteng province.
The condemnation comes amid widespread attacks in Johannesburg’s Rosettenville and Pretoria’s Mamelodi West, which targeted mainly Nigerians.
ANC spokesman, Zizi Kodwa, squarely blamed the mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba for the current state of affairs following his anti-foreigners’ utterances.
“His (Mashaba) pompous call in December 2016 for foreigners to leave ‘his city’ – declaring that all foreigners in the province were illegal – in fact preceded this spate of attacks on foreigners,” said Kodwa
Following a barrage of criticism from human rights groups, government and refugee communities, Mashaba has since made u-turn to his earlier statements where he accused foreign nationals as criminals.
“The ANC notes the bitter irony of the political opposition the Democratic Alliance (DA) ‘condemning xenophobic violence’ in Gauteng when it was the reckless statements of Mayor Mashaba that lit the tinderbox of hatred in the first place,’ adds Kodwa.
He said violence has no place in South Africa that strives to promote peaceful coexistence between all those who reside within the country’s borders.
Previously acts of criminality and a third force have been singled out for the flares up, the ANC called on law-enforcement authorities to deal appropriately with those found to be behind these attacks.
“Communities concerned at high levels of crime should address their concerns to the relevant law-enforcement authorities, and not take the law into their own hands,” Kodwa said.
He said the ANC was committed to the realization of Agenda 2030 of the African Union and its aspiration of a peaceful and united Africa.
In 2008, more than 60 foreign nationals, mainly Nigerians, Mozambicans and Zimbabweans were killed in the while more than 200, 000 others left homless