"We will find you" - Govt warns perpetrators of xenophobic violence

By Drum Digital
19 April 2015

Pretoria - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Sunday warned perpetrators of xenophobic violence would face the full might of the law.

“We want to issue a stern warning to those who lend themselves to acts of public violence. We will find you and you will be dealt with to the full might of the law,” Gigaba said at a media briefing in Pretoria.

He was addressing reporters on violence against foreign nationals, mainly in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, that has seen at least six people killed and many displaced. Police could not confirm reports of a seventh death in Alexandra, Johannesburg on Sunday morning.

Gigaba said 307 people have so far been arrested for related acts since the attacks broke out over a week ago and they would face prosecution.

Gigaba said there were ‘elements’ who were taking advantage of the violence to plunge the country into anarchy.

“Over the past few days we have noticed a new phenomenon where people make use of social media to instil fear in different parts of the country,” Gigaba said. “They have been sending out fictitious SMS and WhatsApp messages with fictitious and photoshopped images warning people of imminent attacks.”

He said these messages appeared to be orchestrated by elements “bent on taking advantage of unease in the communities and instil fear among the people”.

“The misinformation that has been taking place on social media should be condemned by all peace-loving South Africans as well as foreign nationals living in our country,” Gigaba said.

Gigaba sought to ensure the international community that South Africa was doing everything possible to stem the violence.

“To the countries that continue to invest in South Africa, we want to reassure them that South Africa is a constitutional democracy governed by the rule of law,” Gigaba said. “Investors are welcome to do business - everything is done to restore peace and order. Government will enforce the laws of the country to act speedily, decisively on any criminal activity committed by or against a foreign national or a citizen of South Africa.”



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