SOUTH Africa’s Home Affairs ministry has condemned statements attributed to Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba calling for the deportation of immigrants, describing them as illegal and likely to trigger a fresh wave of xenophobic attacks on foreigners based in that country.
“Minister (Malusi) Gigaba views the comments as unfortunate and will brief the mayor on government’s policy and interventions in relation to the management of international migration,” the Home Affairs department said in a statement on Monday.
“The minister has repeatedly called on all leaders, irrespective of their political allegiance, to desist from making statements that could influence the public to adopt xenophobic attitudes.
“All of us have the responsibility to act in a manner that does not incite any hatred towards other fellow human beings irrespective of where they come from. I will seek a meeting with the mayor precisely to brief him on a number of interventions that government has implemented in this regard.”
In 2015, xenophobic violence gripped South Africa, with the gruesome murder of Mozambican, Emmanuel Sithole highlighting the extent of the scourge.
South Africa also had cases of violence against foreigners in 2007 and 2010, which saw some African countries repatriating their citizens.
About three million Zimbabweans have reportedly fled into neighbouring South Africa following an economic meltdown caused by the Zanu PF regime’s policies.-Newsday