Mayor Herman Mashaba has returned to the media with a lash out on those who according to him, plan to disrupt the peace of the country through their xenophobia in Joburg city. With regards to this, he vows to protect all legal foreigners in the city.
The mayor has related his concern towards the overpowering rise of xenophobia in Joburg city and the planned protests which aim to target foreign nationals residing within communities across the country’s biggest city, Johannesburg.
He condemned the attack on foreigners by residents of Rosettenville and Pretoria West and pointed out that his administration will give no room for further similar attacks in the city.
“I would like to state outright that I condemn xenophobia, and my administration will do everything in its power to prevent any outburst of xenophobia in Joburg city. There is no place for xenophobia in Joburg city,” he said.
“This is a city built by, and made up of, migrants from all over the world,” he added while condemning the planned threats of violence in Yeoville by locals objecting to illegal churches springing up.
Mashaba’s word’s against violent attacks by South Africans follows several attacks by officials and organizations, against the anti-foreigner sentiments that have gripped Gauteng.
The mayor’s warning also came at the time a voice record circulating social media called on all African nationals in all African countries to fight back if SA citizens decide to continue their war against noncitizens.
On Wednesday, the justice, crime prevention and security cluster (JCPS cluster) noted with concern the inflammatory remarks currently circulating on social media, saying the remarks which were sparked off by escalating attacks on homes and property occupied by foreign nationals in Joburg and Tshwane, must stop because it would only end up in dividing the country.
“The JCPS cluster further appeals to all people to refrain from comments that can deliberately incite the public to commit acts of violence.
“There’s no place in our constitutional democracy for citizens and/or foreign nationals to take the law into their own hands and incite violence,” he stressed.
Speaking further on the matter which according to the DA, has become a national issue, Mashaba’s spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini appealed to communities and individuals who feel threatened to follow lawful channels to express their concerns.
He assured citizens and foreigners that the security agencies are aware of the threats that are being circulated on social media and that security measures have been put in place to mitigate against any potential threat.
“In this 20th year of our democratic constitution we remain committed to building a society that is based on democratic values of social justice, human dignity, equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms, non-racialism and non-sexism,” Dlamini added.
Mayor Mashaba further noted that as the pride of the country and the African continent, the Joburg administration will give no room for foreigners to be scapegoated for the failures of previous administrations to fulfill their promises.
He reiterated the rising crime cases in various communities in the state capital and citizens frustration in the reality of not having jobs but noted that there were many people who, out of desperation due to political, social and economic instability in their countries, are seeking a better life in South Africa.
The government must do its best to clean up its act and ensure a quick and efficient processing of asylum seekers and refugees. Thus, he said, would protect those who wish to legitimately enter the country from criminal elements, including slum lords and drug traffickers, who abused their desperation and were able to evade the law.
“I welcome foreign nationals into our city and country. Foreign nationals buy goods in our country, create businesses and stimulate economic growth. This is key to our vision of a prosperous and inclusive city. I call on all residents living in our city, no matter where you are from, to respect the laws,” he said.
Mashaba concluded by saying his administration was doing everything in its power to turn the tide on crime in the city and had already made “solid inroads” through increased police visibility and intelligence-led policing and through the efforts of the K9 Narcotics Unit, which was launched last year.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, will hold a media briefing following recent tensions between foreign nationals and South Africans ahead of the planned violent xenophobia in Joburg city by an organization on Friday.