Don't take the law into your own hands - Ramaphosa on xenophobic attacks

2017-03-01 19:00
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Leon Sadiki, City Press)

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Cape Town - Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africans are not a xenophobic nation and has called on angry citizens not to take the law into their own hands over perceived criminality.

Ramaphosa was answering a question in the National Assembly on Wednesday on the recent attacks on foreign nationals in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

"We can all agree that the events of the past two days are rather sad. These are incidents no one can gloat about," he said.

"What is clear is that South Africa is not xenophobic. We don't hate foreigners. In fact, we've opened our arms forever and a day to people of other countries.

"Where there has been criminal activity, we are saying that police must investigate that. That's not saying that foreigners are criminals and that they get involved in all manner of criminal activity."

Ramaphosa said SA wants to protect the rights, property and well-being of foreigners in the country in the same way he wants South Africans in other countries to be protected.

He called on people not to take the law into their own hands, and to let the police and the country's "robust laws" deal with these matters.

He said the government has been preaching an anti-xenophobic message. Those foreign nationals who have been found guilty of criminal activity must be dealt with by the law.

South Africa was a home for all, he said.

'Not here to loot'

IFP MP Mkhuleko Hlengwa asked Ramaphosa about the ANCYL's allegations that he and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan were trying to influence business dealings at the state-owned South African Airways.

Ramaphosa dismissed the youth league's assertion as "fake news", saying it was a complete lie and fabrication and that he is currently engaging them on their statement.

"I did not leave business to come to government services to then conduct fraudulent business in government," he said.

"I am of the view that if you want to make money, make money in business. Don't try and come and make money in government.

"I did not come to try and loot state-owned businesses, and that I will never do."

He said he is already a famed businessman.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen was heard yelling out "Awkward!" as Ramaphosa sat down.

'No knowledge of the doings of Mr Manyi'

DA MP David Maynier asked Ramaphosa if he thought it was right that new ANC MP Brian Molefe "funded" the Progressive Professionals Forum, headed by Jimmy Manyi, while he was CEO of Eskom.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Tuesday revealed that two "sponsorships" were received by the forum, one of R440 000 from Eskom, and another for R400 000 from Transnet.

"With the greatest respect, I have no knowledge of all this," Ramaphosa answered.

"If I did have any knowledge, possibly I'd be able to refer you, but I have no knowledge of the doings of Mr Jimmy Manyi being funded by whomever.

"Much as I would really like to assist you, on this one, you'll have to forgive me, I have no knowledge." 

Read more on:    cyril rama­phosa  |  pretoria  |  crime  |  xenophobia

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