Those who target foreigners should not call themselves South African - KZN premier

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu on Thursday decried the recent spate of xenophobic attacks, saying those who target foreigners should not call themselves South African.

In a statement, Mchunu made a call for unity.

“Recent incidents where people attack others just because they do not look like them, and because they are not originally from South Africa cannot be condoned. We must all stand together and dissociate ourselves from people whose actions are xenophobic. We must reject the notion of violence and land invasion because we are in the country that is governed by the rule of law,” he said. 

“I am very disappointed by the ill-treatment that has been meted to fellow human beings by people calling themselves South Africans. Even in our culture, we are encouraged to take care and treat foreigners well. I am sure that I am talking on behalf of the majority of people of KwaZulu-Natal who are ashamed by these evil acts. This hate of other fellow human beings has no place in our democratic province. There is no country that can remain alone as an island in this global village,” Mchunu added.

He said that the diplomatic consequences of attacks on foreigners were far-reaching.

“This wave of attacks on the foreigners which occasionally erupt in our province and our cities will have very serious diplomatic consequences for our province and our country. Our foreign policies must not only look at how we view the continent, but also on how we are viewed, and this can hit the province and the country where it hurts, economically.

“We might be perceived as intolerant to foreign nationals and therefore no one would like to do business with us. Our country has a very good legacy as a peaceful and sometimes a beacon of hope, but these sporadic acts are not doing us any favours. This legacy that has been built over decades by our liberation movements is in danger of being eroded,” he said. 

Mchunu said that certain people were benefiting from sowing division.

“They are thriving on instilling fear to people in order to advance some narrow political agenda. On behalf of the provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal and its people, I urge that all of us must act with restraint, respect the rule of law, and appreciate diversity and the plight of other fellow human beings, including foreign nationals. South Africa would not have achieved its freedom without the assistance of other countries,” he said.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 402 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
82% - 4854 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
11% - 670 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.