The African National Congress’s Secretary General Ace Magashule said that the rampant acts of violence in South Africa are not xenophobic.
Magashule, who attended the SA Students Congress (Sasco) election rally in Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, said that xenophobia does not exist in South Africa because the attacks are linked to criminality:
“What I know, which is factual, is that our presidents, the presidents of Africa are talking, and they have analysed this correctly. They know what is happening.”
Magashule implied that these acts of criminality are smoking mirrors enabled by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States to hinder the efforts of uniting the continent.
“When Africa is united, we will never go to IMF, we’ll never beg US. They know that and that’s why they want to play what they did in the past, divide and rule. That’s why even now they are pushing tribalism,” he exclaimed.
He also urged law enforcement to act forcefully against the elements that have been used to propagate the xenophobia agenda.
“It is not acts of xenophobia, these are acts of criminality, they are acts of tribal battles. And you think all these things are happening because of xenophobia that is not the case.”
“Criminals are seizing the opportunity to do what they are not supposed to do. That’s why we are saying police must act very harshly against criminals”, he added.
In the past few days the situation in Johannesburg, South Africa’s commercial capital, has been chaotic. Rioters torched vehicles and looted shops, mostly owned by foreign nationals.
The death toll in the South African province of Gauteng rose to seven after police found two charred bodies inside a burnt and looted shop in Alexandra, Johannesburg.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, on Tuesday, condemned the violence that had gripped foreign nationals in fear and called for an end to the xenophobic attacks.
“There can be no justification, whatsoever, about what people are having a grievance over, that they should go out and attack people from other countries,” the president stated.