International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor impressed African officials with her candour on the searing issue of xenophobic violence, while telling them the attacks were more 'Afrophobia' than xenophobia.
International Relations and Co-operation Minister Naledi Pandor candidly told foreign diplomats in Pretoria on Monday that the criminal attacks by South Africans on foreigners over the last two weeks were "embarrassing and shameful".
The diplomats were impressed by her honesty in frankly acknowledging the xenophobic nature of the attacks, compared to some other government ministers and officials who have denied this as mere criminality.
Pandor had candidly accepted that much of the violence sprung from "Afrophobia" even more so than "xenophobia", diplomatic sources said.
One said this contrasted with Pandor's own attitude in an eNCA interview last week when she reacted to criticism from Nigerian politicians about the attacks by suggesting they should help South Africa by preventing Nigerian drug dealers, human traffickers and other criminals from entering South Africa.
Pandor met the foreign envoys in Pretoria as a continuation of a dialogue with them which was established in April by her predecessor Lindiwe Sisulu after an earlier eruption of xenophobic violence.
This week Pandor told the diplomats that the...