President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned violence against foreign nationals in South Africa and called on law enforcement agencies and law-abiding citizens to identify perpetrators and bring them to book.
"There can be no justification for criminality and if communities are disaffected for any reason, grievances must be raised with government and must be done within the confines of the law," President Ramaphosa said.
The statement follows the recent reports of attacks on foreign nationals in parts of Durban and Limpopo, where their property and goods were looted and damaged.
President Ramaphosa said recent violence against Malawian and other nationals in KwaZulu-Natal is particularly regrettable on the eve of Freedom Month, which in 2019 marks 25 years of freedom.
South Africans, President Ramaphosa said, owe their freedom to the solidarity and support given to the liberation struggle by people across the continent and around the world.
"Today, our economy and society benefits from our extensive trade and investment relations with partners on our continent and many of our continental compatriots live in South Africa, where they are making important contributions to the development of our country.
"African development depends on the increased movement of people, goods and services between different countries for all of us to benefit. We will not allow criminals to set back these processes," the President said.
The President has since welcomed Monday's engagement between International Relations and Cooperation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Police Minister Bheki Cele, and the African diplomatic community in South Africa.
Today's meeting has been convened to discuss the current spate of violence against foreign nationals and their properties. It will focus on how ambassadors and government can work with communities and all stakeholders to foster integration in communities.