Most xenophobic attacks are spontaneous - Malema

2015-04-20 22:02
(Thomas Hartleb, News24)

(Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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Johannesburg – EFF leader Julius Malema said in most cases xenophobic attacks are spontaneous, but people using a knife had the intention to commit a crime.

Referring to the attack on Mozambican Emmanuel Sithole, Malema who visited the Johannesburg township of Alexandra on a door-to-door campaign against xenophobia on Monday, said: “In most cases the xenophobic attacks, they are spontaneous and people use bricks and all those type of things. But a knife. You left your house with an intention to commit crime.

“We have a weak government, we have a weak state. We have a self-serving leadership which has neglected the masses of our people,” he said when asked if the attack would not have happened with a stronger government in place.

Earlier an EFF member was shot and wounded shortly before the party leader arrived in the area to call for an end to xenophobic violence.

The man was shot in the knee, apparently by a man firing into the crowd in the street from the men’s hostel.

“He shot five times into the street. He was hit in the knee,” local EFF member Abey Dikgale told News24.

He did not know the man’s name, adding that it was the “Zulu men’s hostel” and “even the police are scared to go in there”.

Following the shooting of the EFF member, Malema said: “Today our fighter was shot. No amount of intimidation will stop us from protecting our fellow Africans.”

Referring to the perpetrators of the violence, he said: “Let us put pressure on these people.

We know them. Let us take responsibility and make this place a beautiful place.”

Following by a large crowd as night fell, he then made his way down 4th Avenue and into an alleyway, to visit one local resident, and then another.

Speaking to reporters after the last visit, he said Sithole’s killing was not xenophobia related.

‘We are all Africans’

Earlier Malema addressed a cheering crowd from the back of a double-cab bakkie parked near the Women’s Hostel in 4th Avenue, Malema said he was ashamed of the violence that had so far claimed seven lives. He called for South Africans to respect their fellow Africans, before moving on to criticise the ANC and President Jacob Zuma.

“We are all Africans,” was a line Malema repeated throughout his speech.

Other African countries, which he called “front-line states”, had given anti-apartheid fighters a home, and now it was time to return the favour, he said.

“They never chased us away. Today they are happy we are free. They are coming to us because we help you when you are in trouble. And what do we do? We take out knives and we kill you,” he said.

Sithole was stabbed to death on Arkwright Avenue in Alexandra on Saturday morning, not far from where Malema was speaking.

Malema defended Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, saying his remarks in Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal, last month, which have been blamed for starting the xenophobic violence, were not a call to kill foreigners.

“If you are killing people in the name of the Zulus you are wrong. He’s never given you that task. Don’t kill people in the name of the king,” he said.

Read more on:    julius malema  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  xenophobia

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