Herman Mashaba condemns threats against foreigners
TMG Digital | 2017-02-22 11:27:23.0
Image by: Sunday Times
“There is no place for xenophobia in the City of Johannesburg‚” says Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. “Foreign nationals are not our enemy.”
His unequivocal statement comes on Wednesday after being slated for his stance on the issue by human rights activists this week.
Three months ago‚ the Home Affairs Department also hit out at Mashaba‚ saying while the department noted challenges facing the city‚ this could not be a reason for the generalisations made by Mashaba.
Delivering his 100 days in office progress report late last year‚ Mashaba said illegal foreign nationals living in Johannesburg must be treated as criminals since they came to South Africa illegally.
On Wednesday‚ Mashaba said: “I’m deeply concerned to hear reports of xenophobic attacks and planned protests aimed to target foreign nationals residing within Gauteng.”
“I’d like to state outright that I condemn xenophobia and my administration will do all in its power to prevent outbursts of violence in the City of Johannesburg.”
“We can never accept lawlessness in our city and any criminal‚ whether a South African national or a foreign national‚ must be apprehended.”
Saying he had shared this message with residents of Rossentenville recently where locals turned violent in their fight against drug dealing‚ Mashaba added: “Attacks on foreign nationals is an unfortunate misdirection of the community’s demand for safety and jobs…. We’re the pride of our country and can’t allow for foreign nationals to be scapegoated for the failures of previous administrations.”
Nevertheless‚ he wanted government to do more to establish of register of foreigners living in the country.
“It’s essential that national government cleans up its act and ensures there’s quick and efficient processing of asylum seekers and refugees. This would protect those who wish to legitimately enter our country from criminal elements.”