Cabinet speaks out on attacks

2008-05-29 00:00

Cape Town — The xenophobic attacks across South Africa cannot be attributed to a single cause, such as a third force, but are a result of a complex set of factors, cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko said yesterday.

Briefing the media on this week’s Cabinet meeting, Maseko said it is too early to conclude that a “third force” is behind the violence. “There is some evidence of copy-cat activities in which criminals took advantage of the news story to conduct criminal acts,” Maseko said, adding that the government’s security cluster will continue to investigate the attacks.

“Cabinet once again condemns the violence. The meeting noted that genuine concerns about access to services, such as water, roads and economic opportunities, are being exploited and misused to manipulate communities to attack our parents, brothers, sisters and children from South Africa, the African continent, and some parts of the world.”

Maseko said that, on Monday, President Thabo Mbeki convened a meeting of the Joint Task Team and the premiers of the affected provinces to discuss strategies to address the violence.

Mbeki had instructed all the Premiers of the affected Provinces and the Task Team to accelerate relief efforts and to ensure that the security forces deal decisively with the violence against foreign nationals and other South Africans.

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