South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has condemned the xenophobic attacks of South Africans on foreigners.
Speaking to BBC, Ramaphosa expressed the embarrassment he feels as a result of the xenophobic events that have occurred recently and declared that South Africa will never be xenophobic.
Condemning the attack, Ramaphosa said;
“My message to the whole of our continent, including to our South African people, is that South Africa cannot and will never be xenophobic. The xenophobic attacks began just over a fortnight ago and lasted for several days. Twelve people were killed in the violence, 10 of whom were South Africans, officials say.”
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While asked by BBC’s Milto Nkosi whether he felt ashamed by the violence, the president responded,
“Yes. We are very concerned and of course, as a nation, we would be ashamed because this goes against the ethos of what South Africa stands for,”
Ramaphosa recalled that when South Africans struggled with apartheid, they were helped and welcomed by various countries around the world which is more reason why South African should never be against people from other countries.
“So this is un-South African and it has a criminal element to it and we are addressing it. And what is pleasing is that our people as a whole are very clear that we are not against foreign nationals we always welcome them we want to live side by side with the, we want to get over this and we want them, yes, to run their businesses. Yes to live here with us.” BBC reported
The recent xenophobic attacks have tarnished South African’s image and as a result, Ramaphosa was booed at Mugabe’s funeral service last week.
However, President Ramaphosa has sent a team of envoys to visit seven African Countries including Nigeria in other to foster the notion that South Africa believes in peace and pan-African values.