Defence Minister Sisulu promises to harshly curb xenophobia threats

minister_lindiwe_sisuluJOHANNESBURG - Law enforcement agencies will deal harshly with anyone who threatens any citizen in the country, Defence and Military Veterans Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu (Pictured) this week.

Sisulu, who is also part of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Xenophobia, added that foreign nationals who are intimidated and threatened must report the perpetrators to the police and the police will take necessary steps. Opportunistic criminals must know that we will deal with them harshly, there is no way we will allow them to spread fear and crime, we are working very hard to find them and prosecute them, Sisulu said.

Sisulu together with Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa arrived in Cape Town to get first hand reports from senior law enforcement officers following reports of threats and intimidation to foreign nationals in some townships there. Police say they made several arrests in this regard. Recent media reports claimed that some South Africans could resort to violence against foreign nationals once the FIFA World Cup tournament ended.

There are reports that locals will turn on African migrants competing for scarce jobs in the continent’s largest economy. Sisulu said security agencies are on high alert to stop possible violence, adding that the SANDF will make all resources available to support the SAPS to stop opportunistic criminals who are threatening citizens. As a result, the ministers have also instructed that the SANDF and the SAPS be jointly deployed to ensure that all citizens are safe and no one is threatened.

The ministers urged community leaders and political parties to spread messages of no tolerance towards criminals and those who threaten foreign nationals or intimidate them. From community level to national leaders, we must unite against opportunistic elements who take genuine concerns of our people to spread messages of hate and commit criminal activities, those people have no place in our society, law enforcement officers must deal with them harshly, Sisulu said.

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