Opposition parties condemn xenophobic attacks

2015-04-16 17:27
(Joe Stolley, News24)

(Joe Stolley, News24)

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Cape Town - Opposition parties condemned the spate of xenophobic attacks in the country in Parliament on Thursday.

During a special questions session, parliamentary leaders for the parties including the DA, IFP, UDM, FF Plus, Cope, ACDP spoke out against the deaths and injuries of foreign nationals that had been inflicted by citizens.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that foreign business owners were not the enemy but corruption.

The IFP's Mangosuthu Buthelezi said that the country's leaders were slow to act and this had caused the violence.

Bantu Holmomisa, for the UDM, said xenophobic activities could have been prevented if the government had acted on its intelligence.

FF Plus’s Corné Mulder quoted the Freedom Charter, saying all groups were protected by law against insults, such as on the basis of race.

Mosiuoa Lekota, for the Cope, said he was deeply ashamed by how low the country had sunk.

"We need to turn resentment into appreciation for what these foreign migrants bring to this country. We need awareness campaigns," he added.

The African Christian Democratic Party's Kenneth Meshoe said parliamentary leaders should set a good example for how citizens conduct themselves.

"Many impressionable young people who watch parliamentary debates are tempted to emulate what their leaders are doing in this place," he said.

Meshoe asked that radical members of the house and political parties who had popularised disrespect and violence be told to stop "poisoning the minds" of the youth.

Earlier on Thursday, President Jacob Zuma strongly condemned the violence against foreign nationals and said it was shocking and unacceptable.

He called for calm and respect, saying the police would deal with those who did not abide by the law.

His pronouncement was in light of a spate of xenophobic attacks that begin in townships around Durban last week and spread to Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg.

At least five people have been killed and scored injured.

Read more on:    politics  |  cape town  |  parliament 2015  |  xenophobia

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