Group bemoans SA xenophobia

The African Diaspora Forum has bemoaned a new wave of xenophobia here, which has left many African migrants worried about their safety.

“Since the 2008 xenophobic outbreak, more than 900 foreign nationals in South Africa have lost their lives in violent attacks directed towards them, purely on the basis of their origin. This week alone, two Somalis were killed, a number injured and more than 100 displaced in Mamelodi, Pretoria. These attacks followed shortly after the Department of Home Affairs had implemented a number of new discriminatory regulations as part of strengthening the immigration policy in South Africa,” said ADF chairperson, Marc Gbaffou early this week. He accused the police of taking the side of the attackers by omitting to carry out their duties to protect the innocent. “More shockingly yet, the police that carry the mandate to protect people in South Africa, refused to assist foreigners to leave the area and find a safe haven,” he said.

“Instead, they (police) chose to use the opportunity to verify their permits to see if they were legally in South Africa – begging the question: what is more urgent for the SAPS, saving lives or checking papers? The apparent impunity with which perpetrators commit these acts of xenophobia and government’s denial that these shameful events take place or are xenophobic could possibly be the reason why the attacks are multiplying in South Africa.”

He urged the South African government to start acting effectively against xenophobic violence.

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