SA media in firing line for xenophobia coverage

2015-04-24 20:01

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Deputy Police Minister Maggie Sotyu has launched a scathing attack on local media houses for the way they covered the recent violent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals across the country.

Speaking at an anti-xenophobia imbizo at the Alexandra stadium this afternoon, Sotyu said: “What the media is showing to the world about South Africa… There are worse things happening in other countries but you will never see them in the media. The media is part of the community, so please, it must be biased when it comes to South Africa.”

Sotyu said she has always wondered why there were calls for media tribunals and the regulation thereof. Now she understood why, she said.

The function was attended by representatives from Nigeria, Kenya, South Sudan and Burundi. Local dignitaries included Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane, Deputy Police Commissioner Khehla Sithole and Gauteng police commissioner Lesetja Mothiba.

Said Mothiba: “I apologise on behalf of government about what happened here. We are in trouble as a government. It is not right for us to fight as Africans. As parents we have lost it, we don’t train our kids. What exactly went wrong?”

Sotyu said it was embarrassing that South Africans were turning against African countries, which assisted our freedom fighters when they were in exile.

“We don’t want this to happen again. We have requested the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to create dedicated courts to deal with these. I wonder what would (Nelson) Mandela think of us had he been alive today.”

The attacks on foreign nationals, she said, have created tension in her sister’s daughter’s house. “She is married to a Nigerian. Even those foreigners who are illegal do not deserve to die. You can’t kill your brother and you can’t kill your sister. No matter how angry you are,” said Sotyu.

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