The South African Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi paints a picture of state sponsored attacks. His speech is a vailed endorsement of attacks on black foreign nationals.
The deputy minister would be very foolish to pretend to be unaware that his words only serve to strengthen the anti black foreign sentiment which has already engulfed Johannesburg and may soon spread to all parts of that so-called rainbow nation.
While the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been trying to cool tempers down and put on a semblance of humanity on the face of South Africa after yet another show of gruesome display of what many have termed xenophobic attacks on black foreign nationals, the deputy of police is doing the opposite.
On Tuesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned a wave of looting and violence that has mostly targeted black foreign nationals, particularly in the areas around Johannesburg.
“There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries,” he said on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, scores of people were arrested in Johannesburg on Monday. At least five people have been killed in the unrest.
A number of African governments have already issued warnings to their citizens over the violence.
Attacks on businesses run by “foreign nationals is something totally unacceptable, something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa,” President Ramaphosa said in a video posted to Twitter.
“I want it to stop immediately,” he added.
But his deputy minister of Police is writing a different script and singing a completely different song.
South Africa’s police minister, Bheki Cele, said on Monday that “criminality rather than xenophobia” was to blame for the “senseless violence”.
“[Xenophobia] is used as an excuse,” he told reporters after visiting Johannesburg’s Central Business District, where much of the unrest has been taking place. “Nothing… has sparked any form of conflict between the South Africans and foreign nationals.”
This isn’t the first time the country has been rocked by anti-foreigner violence.
In 2015 xenophobic attacks became so bad that a sports field south of Durban was made into a makeshift refugee camp for Africans escaping the violent looters.
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