- South Africans still want foreigners to leave their country
- Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the former IFP leader calls for peace
- “We need to stop this thing in its tracks before serious action is taken against us. Do we really want to escalate into international conflict?”, Buthelezi said.
South Africans are ready to escalate the fight with immigrants with their new march and chants that says “Immigrants must leave and go back to where the came from”.
A recent video shows protesters from hostels in the Johannesburg region protesting against foreigners. They gathered together and marched along Jules Street. They were carrying weapons, including knobkerries, and the men sang, “foreigners must go back to where they came from”.
“We are not happy with how the government has tried to resolve the problems that the country is facing. The government must come to speak to the people and explain what it is going to do with the foreign nationals who are here illegally,” Siphiwe Mhlongo, the chairman of hostel headmen (izinduna) in Gauteng said.
Mhlongo led the march and spoke to the people in Belgravia, eastern Johannesburg, ahead of Buthelezi scheduled address on Sunday.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi is the former IFP leader who addressed the protesters to calmed things down. As a result, no foreigner was hurt during the protest.
As mentioned above, Mangosuthu Buthelezi met with the community to calm tensions in the wake of recent xenophobic attacks on foreigners. He addressed the protesters on September 8 2019, and his full speech is below.
Mangosuthu Buthelezi full speech on Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians
Johannesburg, September 8 2019
I come here today not as a politician, but as an elder. There is a terrible quarrel in our nation with foreign nationals who are living amongst us. Lives have been lost and property damaged. There has been looting and burning and violence. While all this is happening, the world is watching, and we are being judged.
I must speak very bluntly to my fellow South Africans, not to take sides, but to quell the tensions with the voice of truth.
What we have seen in the past few days is unacceptable. The attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses are purely xenophobic. It is a violation of human rights and a violation of our Constitution. Our Constitution enshrines the right to freedom from all forms of violence. That right applies to everyone in South Africa, whether citizens or not.
I understand the tensions, the complaints and the anger. I understand that there is validity to the complaints, on both sides. I also understand that wrongs have been committed by both sides. This has not come out of nowhere.
But there is a saying in Zulu that you cannot slaughter all the sheep because one sheep has transgressed. In a situation of conflict, it is dangerous to tar everyone with the same brush. Even where there are valid complaints against an individual, we cannot take the law into our own hands. Looting and destruction of property is a crime, full stop. Assault is always wrong.
Don’t think these things have no consequences. This violence has diplomatic and economic ramifications. We have hundreds of thousands of South Africans living in countries throughout Africa. We have businesses and companies operating across this continent. We have vital trade relations within the African Union and within SADC, the Southern African Development Community. South Africa is not an island.
There will be sanctions against us for what we are doing. It started with the Zambian Football Association cancelling a soccer match against Bafana Bafana. Then Nigeria announced a boycott of the World Economic Forum on Africa being held in Cape Town. But as I feared they would, sanctions quickly turned to retaliation.
Already South African-owned companies in Nigeria have been targeted for looting and vandalism. MTN has had to close all its stores to protect staff, while the police stand guard at Shoprite stores. On Thursday our diplomatic missions in Abuja and Lagos were forced to close after threats were received. President Buhari has announced a visit to South Africa to speak to President Ramaphosa
We need to stop this thing in its tracks before serious action is taken against us. Do we really want to escalate into international conflict?
He ended his speech with a question that brought calm. Peace was restored and everyone went back home.
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