The Nelson Mandela Foundation has added its voice to condemnation of recent xenophobic attacks in the country. The called on the government to act fast to curb the situation and for aggrieved parties to embrace dialogue.
The outfit dedicated to preserving the legacy of the country’s first black president, Nelson Mandela called on the entire South African society to fight what it described as ‘‘a phenomenon which has been troubling our democracy for a long time.’‘
A statement released by the Foundation said the attacks had brought the rainbow nation international shame and that there was the need to arrest the situation which had the potential of rolling back democratic gains the country has made.
We call on all South Africans to take responsibility for embracing the hospitality that defines our democratic order and to work together to find solutions to a problem which is destroying lives and bringing South Africa shame internationally.
‘‘Inaction in this matter will have far-reaching implications for South Africa and set us back decades as a stable democracy.
‘‘We call on all South Africans to take responsibility for embracing the hospitality that defines our democratic order and to work together to find solutions to a problem which is destroying lives and bringing South Africa shame internationally,’‘ the statement read.
They also condemned the decision by security officers to grant permission for a ‘hate march.’ ‘‘The Foundation expresses shock and takes exception to the authorities’ decision giving permission for a march of hatred in Tshwane.’‘ The foundation advocates for non-violent measures primarily the use of dialogue to express grievances.
Police had to fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse anti-immigration protesters in Pretoria, Johannesburg and other areas. There were also reports of ‘defence’ protests by foreigners living in the country.
Locals accuse foreigners of being behind criminal ventures such as prostitution and drug trafficking. The presidency issued a statement in which they called for calm and for respect for foreigners. Police arrested over 100 protesters in Friday’s protests.