South African Ministers Turn Xenophobia On Its Head

Discount supermarket business owner Ratan Mohammed said: “It was clear to me that by closing our shops, this was their way to make sure we pay the money.”
analysis

African ambassadors are confronted with all the crimes committed by their nationals in South Africa.

African ambassadors came to hear what the South African government intended doing about allegedly xenophobic attacks against their citizens. Instead, they were presented on Friday with a litany of crimes being committed by their nationals in South Africa.

Officially, they drank their bitter medicine. Their official spokesperson, DRC ambassador Bene M'poko, dean of the diplomatic community, said at a press conference after the ambassadors' meeting with Ministers Lindiwe Sisulu of International Relations and Co-operation, Bheki Cele of Police and Siyabonga Cwele of Home Affairs: "Were there issues hard to hear? No! If we are going to tackle problems, we need to hear the truth, to get the facts so we get a better understanding of the causes."

But privately, several ambassadors were dismayed by the meeting, though both sides also agreed to set up a joint standing task force of South African officials and African ambassadors to deal with attacks on foreigners, crimes by foreign nationals and other issues.

"It was all about crimes committed by foreign nationals {against South Africans] and nothing about crimes committed by South Africans against foreign nationals," said one ambassador...

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