Premier condemns xenophobic attacks

2012-02-08 19:23

Bloemfontein - Xenophobic violence in the Welkom area during the past week was condemned by Free State Premier Ace Magashule on Wednesday.

A number of shops owned by foreigners, mainly Bangladeshis, were broken into, set alight and looted in Thabong, Welkom and Odendaalsrus.

Magashule said the attacks were a clear violation of the rights of immigrants and foreigners. He said it appeared "criminal elements" had taken advantage of the situation.

"These attacks violate the fundamental principles of our Constitution, which rejects discrimination and intolerance on the basis of race, creed or geographic origin."


Free State police said Thabong and Kutloanong (Odendaalrus) were quiet on Wednesday.

About 40 people have been arrested in Thabong since groups of youths took to the streets last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said a group of jobless youths were unhappy after talks with local mines about jobs and took to the streets. They wanted mines to recruit local people first.

Twenty-four businesses were damaged in the three-day rampage in Thabong.

Captain Stephen Thakeng said Kutloanong was quiet on Wednesday. Seven people were arrested after youths started to attack foreigners and their businesses on Monday.

Sixteen shops were damaged and looted. Police had to escort foreigners out of the township.

Public violence

Police said the violence in Kutloanong seemed to be related to the public violence and looting in Thabong last week.

Magashule urged residents in the area to condemn the violent attacks on innocent people, whose lives were threatened because of their geographic origins.

"We call upon our people to refrain from participating in such violent acts."

He said the provincial government would continue to work with all concerned parties to find solutions to some of the problems facing citizens.

Police said those arrested in the two towns would begin appearing in courts from Wednesday to Monday next week.

  • braamc - 2012-02-08 19:59

    The racist blacks

      Sarel Brits - 2012-02-08 20:11

      No such thing as a racist black!

      Boer - 2012-02-08 20:30

      Not all blacks are racist but you do have your very bad element and that counts for other races aswell.

      John - 2012-02-08 22:01

      @ Boer Not All Blacks are racist becouse NOT ALL PEOPLE ARE THE SAME. Valid rule all across for any statement and/or comment. Use it freely. It's a bit dificult to read your comment logically, but I've got yor line of brain somehow. Does anyone knows what "kalanga" is synonym of? I think Braamc is refering to the term.

  • Mantsho - 2012-02-08 20:15

    How are the big companies going to come and invest in SA, while you have people like this ?This needs to stop, a tough penalty for this kind of behavior will do because most of the black South Africans are stubbon and violent!

  • alansmartSnr - 2012-02-08 20:19

    The blame for this should rest directly on the shoulders of the Dept of Home affairs. Immigration standards all over the world are based on the value of potential immigrants skills and value to their new country. These shop keepers bring nothing to this country ecept enterpreneurship which could be filled by our own population. I give the locals a big thumbs up and hope imported skills will be the immigration criteria in future

      Jones Ngoetjana - 2012-02-08 20:57

      south africa cannot accomodate everyone ; i am not against foreigners but i think the home affairs need to tighten a bit. We need foreigners who comes to the country with big investments , not poor ones who are fighting for spaza shop business at the informal settlements or townships even rural areas. the reason people attack them is based solely on the fact that our governemnt is not doing enough to control the immigrants , some come here unemployed in a country with 25 percent unemployment rate, surely something must be done otherwise this xenophobic attacks will continue

  • Grant - 2012-02-08 20:20

    Welcome to the Bannana republic, free for all under the ANC mess

  • Max - 2012-02-08 20:23

    To condemn something is to pay lip service, the root cause of the problem is government's inability to create jobs and insufficient immigration control. Stop talking and solve the problems.

      Bob - 2012-02-08 21:19

      Well said...!

  • ISO - 2012-02-08 20:57

    The problem with SA is that we let anybody into the country for work! We should let educated people enter the country - like the EU countries do!

  • advmashee - 2012-02-08 22:51

    We have let the Illigal drug traffikers to continue to over populate this country and such has blinded us from identifying the main perpetrators. There is no prove that those Bangladeshish have at any stage violated the rules of this country as our people have abondened their businesses in favour of these people, because of layziness. They mean no harm to South African Citizen. LEAVE THEM ALONE OR MOVE FOR THE AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION.

  • Warwick - 2012-02-09 08:53

    Meybe the prmier should stop hiding behind his bodyguards and see how the townships are being flooded by thousands of these foreigners on a daily basis. How many more are we supposed to absorb before something gives. How dare you blame the people for their frustrations while you allow this country to be swamped by people from all over the world. Do not feel guilty people of South Africa, the government is wrong to allow our country to be swamped like this.

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