Cabinet says it is determined to decisively address the underlying causes which led to the attacks on foreign nationals and some South Africans.
“We also in the same vain will deal decisively with illegal activities such as drug peddling, illicit trading, looting of people’s shops, as well as destruction of property and corruption without any fear or favour -immaterial whether such criminality is perpetrated by a South African or a foreign national,” Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu said.
Addressing the media on the outcome of the Cabinet meeting held in Cape Town, Mthembu on Thursday called on communities to actively work with Community Policing Forums (CPF) and the South African Police (SAPS) to address crime and all illegal activities.
“Cabinet has once again condemned the public violence and lawlessness that accompanies any… grievances of our people. While Cabinet understands the socio-economic challenges faced by communities, intolerance and violence towards foreign nationals and other South Africans will not resolve these challenges,” Mthembu said.
Mthembu reiterated that the country welcomes anyone who enters the country legally and abides by the laws of the country.
“Equally, we remain a country united in our diversity and any form of animosity aimed at our fellow African brothers and sisters will not be tolerated.”
Mthembu also condemned the exploitation of the foreign nationals by some companies.
Border Management Agency Bill finalised
The Minister further announced that the Border Management Agency (BMA) Bill is being finalised at the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). He said this will fast track the improvement of border security.
In addition, the President has dispatched a team of special envoys to several African countries to reassure fellow Africans that South Africa is committed to the ideals of Pan African unity and solidarity, including South Africa’s commitment to the rule of law and protection of the human rights of all within SA’s borders.
“The President has also appointed an eminent team of a fact-finding commission consisting of the former President of Tanzania, Jakaya Kikwete and the former President of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano.
“They will interact with various groupings within our country with the view of establishing the facts surrounding the violent attacks against foreign nationals and locals, which many have referred to as xenophobia and Afrophobia.
“The findings of this commission will be shared with the African Union (AU) and importantly, will assist us in dealing with the recurrence of violent attacks on both foreign nationals and our own citizens,” Mthembu said.
Burning down of councillors’ houses condemned
Meanwhile, Cabinet has condemned in the strongest terms the burning down of the houses belonging to the City of Matlosana councillors in Khuma in the North West.
Cabinet called on the South African Police Service to arrest the perpetrators of this crime.
Mthembu urged the law-abiding citizens of Khuma to work with law enforcement agencies to assist in apprehending the perpetrators by coming forward with the information through the anonymous toll free number 086010111.
“As South Africans, let us take a stand in condemning lawlessness in our respective communities. Our democracy has a legislative system in place for anyone to elect or remove any public representative without resorting to violence. We therefore need to rise to protect our hard-earned democracy,” the Minister said.
Cabinet appealed to the public to take a stand against such criminality and to come forward with any information that will assist law enforcement authorities with their investigation.
“South Africa is a democracy and perpetrators of violence, in whatever form, must own up to the consequences of their actions by facing the full might of the law.”