Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma and representatives of churches and civil society met for over five hours on Wednesday to discuss the xenophobic attacks that have left seven people dead in the past two weeks.
''The issue that we are dealing with today was what we are all going to do as a country, as citizens, as different sectors to ensure that it will not happen again," said Zuma at a briefing televised live and live streamed by eNCA after the meeting.
He said the attacks had not left South Africa in a good light and he thought it was important that everybody met.
"It cannot be job of the government only in dealing with this matter," he said.
Government had put certain departments to work to prevent it from happening again, and on Tuesday also established an inter-ministerial committee to ensure that it would not happen again.
"So there has been a lot of discussion and certain positions taken. But the reason was that we should discuss as a country how could we collectively, together, address this matter that it will never come back again," Zuma said.
He invited some of those who had been at the meeting, which started at 10:00 and ended just before 16:00, to say a few words.
Stavros Nicolau, a member of the board of Business Unity of SA, said the attacks were "senseless in many respects".
He thanked Zuma for his leadership during the situation, which included running battles in the Durban CBD between police, foreign nationals and locals.
The committee Zuma referred to would be chaired by Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Minister Jeff Radebe.
Other members are:
- Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba
- Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Pravin Gordhan;
- International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane;
- Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula;
- Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini;
- Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi;
- Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga;
- Police Minister Nathi Nhleko;
- State Security Minister David Mahlobo; and
- Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha
The SA National Defence Force has also been deployed to hotspots.