Mapisa-Nqakula: Perception is we're not protecting foreigners

2015-04-21 13:49
Protesters outside the Alexandra Magistrate's Court. (Naledi Shange, News24)

Protesters outside the Alexandra Magistrate's Court. (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Johannesburg - It was necessary to send the SA National Defence Force into the Johannesburg township of Alexandra and other areas, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Tuesday.

Many people on the ground "will appreciate the decision to bring in the defence force," she said.

There was a perception that South Africa was not doing enough to protect foreign nationals.

The minister called for peace, saying she was "hurt" when she saw pictures in the Sunday Times of Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole being killed in Alexandra, the seventh death in xenophobic violence that has swept through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, displacing thousands of people.

Operational information

Mapisa-Nqakula would not say how many soldiers would be deployed.

"That's operational information which we never give out," she said.

"The deployment will be done jointly with the police. We are not here to take over the work of the police we are simply here to give support of what the police are trying to do."

The president will go to Parliament and within seven days will inform Parliament of this deployment, she added.

The minister called on South Africans to remember the support of other African countries during the struggle against apartheid.

"We are where we are today because other people had to sacrifice... to make sure South Africa gets their freedom," she said.

She warned people not to take part in an agenda against the state.

"I want to call on our people, let us not be gullible and vulnerable to manipulation by people who have their own agendas of destroying the state," she said.

"Now it is time... to communicate constructive and positive messages."

Read more on:    sandf  |  nosiviwe mapisa nqakula  |  johannesburg  |  xenophobia

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