Africa: Violence in South Africa - President Cryril Ramaphosa Gives Assurances

After attacks against foreigners that left over 12 dead and many fleeing, the government is extending apologies to affected countries

South Africa's President, Cyril Ramaphosa has dispatched a high-level delegation to several African countries to reassure the Governments and citizens of the said countries that his country still welcomes foreign nationals. The delegation that is headed by a former minister, Jeff Radeba began the peace mission on Saturday September 14, 2019, with a first stop in Nigeria. They will move to Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and then Zambia.

Speaking to the BBC, the South African President said he feels ashamed over the recent outbreak of xenophobic violence in the country. "Yes. We are very concerned and of course as a nation we would be ashamed because this goes against the ethos of what South Africa stands for. We were welcomed in various other countries in the world, when we were struggling against apartheid and we cannot therefore be against people from other nations at this point in time when they helped us so much", he added.

At the 14th National Congress of the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) in Durban, President Ramaphosa told the 2,000 delegates that the recent xenophobic attacks have had a negative impact as the world has placed the country on a higher pedestal mainly because of the Constitution and the Freedom Charter which highlights that South Africa belongs to everyone who lives in it.

South Africa, the continent's second largest economy, is a major destination for other African migrants. But they are often targeted by some locals who blame foreigners for taking jobs from South Africans. Hundreds of economic migrants from neighbouring Zimbabwe and Mozambique had fled from South Africa recently while Nigeria air lifted 600 of its citizens back home after they were targeted in the violence.

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