Linking attack on foreign nationals burnt to death to xenophobia is 'premature' - KZN government

2018-12-20 14:40
March to Parliament to protest against xenophobia. (Paul Herman, News24)

March to Parliament to protest against xenophobia. (Paul Herman, News24)

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The KwaZulu-Natal provincial executive council says blaming xenophobia for the recent deaths of two foreign nationals, before a police investigation has been completed, is premature.

Claude Mazuruza and Alex Musambya, both 30, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, were beaten and burnt to death in Adams Mission, south of Durban, on December 11.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala told News24 on Thursday that no arrests had been made following their deaths, but investigations continued.

Gwala had previously said the men were found dead on the morning of December 11.

At the time of the men's deaths, Africa Solidarity Network's secretary general Daniel Byamungu told News24 that the murders were linked to xenophobia.

"This comes at a time when xenophobic attacks are at a high. We mourn with the families of these two brothers."

Byamungu claimed that they fell victim to community violence.

Killing condemned

"It is xenophobia because people were beaten and burnt by the community and no one is willing to come out and say why they killed and burnt them," Byamungu said.

However, KwaZulu-Natal executive council director general Nonhlanhla Mkhize said it was premature to label the crime a xenophobic attack.

"This practice of murder and similar social ills should never ever be allowed to take root in our communities. We call on the police to conduct a thorough investigation into all the issues surrounding this incident. The perpetrators must be brought to book as soon as possible," she said in a statement.

Mkhize said the provincial executive council had on Wednesday received a report on the ongoing investigation "into the burning to death of the two friends".

"The provincial executive council wishes to condemn in the strongest terms possible the brutal killing of the two men. There is no issue or disagreement, no matter how big or difficult, that should be resolved through violence of any sort."

Mkhize said the council had requested the social cohesion and moral regeneration council to urgently look into the matter.

"The murder of the two men in such a brutal fashion has potential to undermine all the good work done so far by the province of KwaZulu-Natal in bringing our people together across race, gender, class and origin," she says.

Read more on:    durban  |  xenophobia  |  crime
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