Commonwealth MPs condemn Xenophobic attacks in South Africa

By , K24 Digital
On Thu, 5 Sep, 2019 09:16 | 2 mins read
South Africa xenophobia
Shops were looted in the violence in Johannesburg. PHOTO | AFP
Shops were looted in the violence in Johannesburg. PHOTO | AFP

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa have strongly condemned the wave of xenophobic riots targeting foreigners in South Africa's capital, Johannesburg.

This as anti-foreigner attacks in Johannesburg triggered violence and massive looting of South African-owned brands in Nigeria.

Some African and western nations have also announced a boycott to all South Africa-owned products and companies after days of raiding and violence on non-locals in which at least five people have died.

Nigerian singers and Zambia's football team are among those in the boycott.

But regional MPs now want the government of South Africa to go beyond issuing statements on the skirmishes and take firm action against the perpetrators.

Led by the chairperson of the CPA Africa Region Executive Committee, Justin Muturi, the lawmakers urged their counterparts from South Africa to impress upon the government to bring to book all criminals of the violence.

“It’s unfortunate that sections of the African continent are finding it hard to interact with each other,” Muturi, who is the Speaker of the National Assembly regretted.

His statements were shared by the leader of the minority in the National Assembly John Mbadi condemned the chaos and asked the South African government to take stern action.

Mbadi said that the physical boundaries that divide African countries should remain imaginary but planted in people’s mind.

“When a child in your homestead misbehaves to the neighbors, the whole household gets a bad name and it is your responsibility to come out strongly and discipline that child in a manner that demonstrates to the whole village that you do not condone such kind of behavior," Mbadi said.

He cautioned, “…… if nothing is done on the issue, it could be replicated elsewhere in the continent.”

Mbadi, who is also the Suba South MP, called on the South African legislators to impress upon their government to ensure that citizens from other African countries were treated with dignity.

While echoing the sentiments by Mbadi, Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua informed the CPA forum that when Starehe MP Charles Njagua made xenophobic statements against Tanzanians, the government of Kenya was quick to apprehend him, noting that such actions are likely to severe relations between states if condoned.

“The government of South Africa should take a decisive action to apprehend the criminals fueling the violence,” he said.

Speaker Muturi and his Kenyan delegation were speaking while attending the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Africa Region Conference in Zanzibar, Tanzania.

On her part, the Speaker of Ugandan Parliament Rebecca Kadaga while condemning the violence urged the affected nations to restrain their people against revenge.

She, however, asked South Africa to style upon its dealings with other African countries noting that Ugandans seeking South African visas have often been mistreated at the country's High Commission in Kampala.

Delegates from Nigeria, whose nationals have majorly been affected by the current violence decried the inhumane treatment of their nationals by South Africans.

Nigerian government has warned that lack of action by South Africa could attract seriously action by Abuja.