Political parties condemn xenophobic violence

2017-02-24 12:44
Atteridgeville. (CICA)

Atteridgeville. (CICA)

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Johannesburg – Political parties have condemned the violent anti-immigrant protests and acts of intimidation that have broken out.

The ANC, which called for tolerance, said it noted with concern the attacks against foreigners in South Africa.

"Violence has no place in our country, where we strive to promote peaceful co-existence between all those who reside within our borders," said the ANC's spokesperson Zizi Kodwa in a statement.

Earlier on Friday, protesters in Atteridgeville threw rocks, burned tyres and allegedly looted shops belonging to foreign nationals.

Police also fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse some of the protesters gathered in Marabastad near the Pretoria CBD.

A group calling itself the Mamelodi Concerned Residents is expected to march to the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria on Friday to protest against immigrants in South Africa. Security services said "scores of people" are expected to take part in the march.

LIVE: Clashes, chaos in Pretoria CBD

ANC blames Mashaba

On Saturday, residents of Pretoria West raided homes they alleged were being used as brothels and drug dens. They called for "pimps" to release prostitutes. Two houses were set alight.

On February 11, at least 10 houses allegedly being used for drug dealing and prostitution were set alight in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. Locals claimed Nigerians were behind the criminal activity.

The ANC laid blame for the protests on Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

"His pompous call in December 2016 for foreigners to leave 'his city', declaring that all foreigners in the province were illegal in fact preceded this spate of attacks on foreigners," said Kodwa.

Issues of crime and illegal immigration fall within the purview of law enforcement and border management agencies, said the ANC.

"We cannot allow vigilantism to prevail," he said.

March disingenuous

The EFF "vehemently" condemned the xenophobic attacks.

"The current debacle pertaining to unemployment and inequality is wrongfully placed and blamed on African brothers and sisters, and black people from the developing world," said the EFF's spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi in a statement.

The ANC has failed to transform the lives of South Africans, said Ndlozi.

The EFF blamed the ruling party for the violence. It also lambasted those behind the march against foreign nationals, labelling them "disingenuous".

"We call on our people to isolate hate crimes against fellow Africans," he said.

'Boundaries orchestrated by imperialists'

Meanwhile, the PAC has called the attacks misplaced.

"We are aware of real foreigners who stole our land and left us landlessness, hence our frustration deepens today," said PAC spokesperson Kenneth Mokgatlhe in a statement.

The party raised concern over the violence which it said had the potential to further divide Africa.

"We are striving to unite as a country beyond the psychological boundaries that were orchestrated by imperialists," he said.

The Pan Africanist party also placed blame for the violence on the ANC government.

"Our government is very passive to stop this barbaric tendency," said Mokgatlhe.

Read more on:    anc  |  pac  |  eff  |  pretoria  |  xenophobia  |  protests

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