AN organisation fighting xenophobia in South Africa has written to President Cyril Ramaphosa and some cabinet ministers raising concern at the problem.
Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia (KAAX) also criticized Transport minister, Filike Mbalula, for allegedly being the latest politician to influence anti-migrant sentiment.
He is quoted as naming by nationality people who he believes are responsible for taking jobs in South Africa.
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KAAX on Youth Day, June 16, sent a letter to the president and the six ministers of International Relations and Cooperation; Basic Education and Higher Education; Transport; Employment and Labour; Police; and Home Affairs.
It has requested a meeting within the next fortnight.
Issues KAAX wants addressed include recent rise in xenophobia and accompanying violence, cancellation of the Zimbabwean Special Permit and South Africa’s constitutional and international obligations in respect of migrants.
KAAX is on record welcoming the stand taken by President Ramaphosa stating that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) cannot work with Operation Dudula which he refers to as a “vigilante-like force”.
“Despite this stand, xenophobic and broader collective violence continues to consume our country,” stated Kathy Barnes, on behalf of KAAX.
The organisation is concerned that Dudula continues with alleged threats against law-abiding people as well as targeting foreign nationals living and working in “informal settlements” and townships.
“These unlawful actions take place in broad daylight, with individuals disrespecting the rule of law and our policies,” Barnes said.
“It is of grave concern that most law enforcement personnel are conspicuous by their absence and failure to bring the perpetrators to book,” Barnes said.
KAAX believes worse, political leaders continue to fuel the flames of violence.
The organisation cited Mbalula.
“We are angry that these xenophobic and racist comments are allowed to be made with impunity,” KAAX stated.
The excitable Mbalula was on Youth Day quoted as saying “Pakistanis and illegal foreigners” are to blame for the country’s unemployment rate.
Mbalula, as police minister in 2017, blamed some violent crimes on Zimbabwean soldiers fleeing the military.
In April, at the height of the tensions, Ramaphosa said attacks on migrants were “immoral, racist and criminal.”
“In the end, it will lead to xenophobia, whose consequences we have lived through in previous years,” Ramaphosa said.
– CAJ News