S. Africa’s Parliament warns media against inciting hatred of foreign nationals
London, Aug. 7, 2019 (AltAfrica)– South Africa’s Parliament on Wednesday warned media against using recent clashes between foreign vendors and police to incite hatred against foreign nationals.
South Africans should exercise caution when reacting to reports about foreign nationals allegedly fighting with police, Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement emailed to Xinhua.
This came after foreign vendors clashed with police in Johannesburg CBD during a police raid on alleged counterfeit goods last week.
The incident is reminiscent of previous xenophobia-related attacks on foreign-owned shops in the country where foreigners, estimated at more than two million, are often blamed for taking up employment that should have been taken by locals.
Committee Chairperson Tandi Mahambehlala said her committee supports a measured, coordinated and well-reasoned response which “must take into consideration South Africa’s national interest and the long-term vision of reviving Africa.”
The temptation to resort to an “us-against-them” approach when dealing with foreign nationals should be rejected, Mahambehlala said.
“We should not respond in a way that may undermine South Africa’s standing on the global stage or the efforts of government on the continent,” said Mahambehlala.
South Africa, she said, has a responsibility to lead regional integration and promote intra- and inter-trade among African countries.
South Africans should not turn against their African brothers, said Mahambehlala.
“However, thuggery and criminal elements that seek to destabilize our country in the fight against crime should be dealt with decisively,” Mahambehlala said.
Any conduct against the police cannot be condoned no matter who is the perpetrator, she added.
Mahambehlala called on the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to give guidance, if so required, and facilitate interventions.
She said parliamentarians support the ongoing work by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs to expedite the Border Management Authority Bill in order to address challenges with immigration.