SA govt dragged to court over xenophobia

The Black Business Forum Zimbabwe (BBFZ) and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), which represent victims drawn from several African countries, have filed an urgent application against the South African government over recent xenophobic attacks in that country.

The application will be heard at the South African High Court in Johannesburg today and countries represented include Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Somalia whose immigrants were targeted by the attacks.

The applicants cited President Jacob Zuma, the Home Affairs ministry, Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Speaker of Parliament, Police Commissioner, Minister of Police, Minister of Defence and Department of State Security as respondents.

The application seeks a guarantee that such xenophobic attacks do not recur and in the event that they do, there must be adequate security to deal with them.

The applicants insist that Zuma and the other respondents must have declared a state of emergency in areas affected by the attacks, in keeping with the State of Emergency Act 64 of 1997.

They requested” “That the Speaker of Parliament is directed and ordered to ensure the moving of a motion, and debate on an Anti-Xenophobia law within a year of this Judgment……jointly with Parliament, that the Department of Home Affairs takes all necessary measures to prevent the violation and encroachment of the benefits held by foreign permit holders, in particular to, within a year of this order, conduct a comprehensive review of, and the setting aside of any law or regulation that may lead to an unconstitutional violation of, and prejudice to the rights of foreign nationals in South Africa, in particular, asylum seekers and refugees.”

They called on the police minister and commissioner to investigate and arrest the violence and the alleged perpetrators, among them reported inciters like Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, and Edward, President Zuma’s son.

The two are being accused of fanning the recent wave of violence by publicly calling on immigrants to return to their respective countries as they were “stealing” locals’ jobs.

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