Zuma: Why are other Africans not in their countries?

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Zuma acts on xenophobia - Credit herald.co.zw
Zuma acts on xenophobia - Credit herald.co.zw

“Some (immigrants) said if you raise your voice in country X you disappear.”

OTHER African nations were responsible for the influx of foreign nationals to South Africa and their criticism of the government over the recent wave of deadly xenophobic unrest was misplaced, President Jacob Zuma said on Monday.

“Our brother countries contribute to this. Why are their citizens not in their countries?

“It is not useful to criticise South Africa as if we mushroom these foreign nationals and then ill-treat them. Some (immigrants) said if you raise your voice in country X you disappear,” Zuma told a Freedom Day rally at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

“Everybody criticises South Africa as if we have manufactured the problem. Even if people who are xenophobic are a minority, but what prompts these refugees to be in South Africa? It’s a matter we cannot shy away from discussing.”

His remarks follow Nigeria’s decision to recall its top diplomats from South Africa.

Zuma reiterated his condemnation of the attacks that has claimed at least seven lives and said the hardship many South Africans endure was no excuse for turning on fellow Africans.

He added government had noted locals’ complaints about their living conditions, including unhappiness with the rising number of immigrants in South Africa.

“We have noted the complaints raised by South Africans and these will be attended to. These complaints include that the number of illegal and undocumented migrants is increasing.”

He said locals complained that immigrants were taking their jobs as some employers now prefer foreigners whom they pay lower wages.

“There are also complaints that foreign nationals benefit from free government services and that they run businesses illegally. There is also an accusation that undocumented foreign nationals commit crime in the country,” said Zuma to applause from his audience.

“None of these justify attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops. We condemn the violence strongly. It is important to emphasise that not all foreign nationals are in the country illegally.”

Zuma noted that reports that Emmanuel Sithole, the Mozambican national who was brutally beaten and stabbed to death in Alexandra, had entered the country illegally.

However, he said many immigrants legally entered South Africa and were significantly contributing to the vast economy.

“It is also not true that all foreign nationals are involved in criminal activities. There are some who are involved, but not all of them.”

He said an inter-ministerial committee was examining all the complaints raised during the xenophobic attacks and also to ensure that immigrants observe their host nation’s laws.

“Government has already announced measures to improve security at the border posts including deploying the army in seven provinces recently to patrol border posts.

“We cannot leave our borders open and hope that either angels and ancestors are guarding our borders. They will never.”

He said soldiers would be deployed as immigration officers to improve the home affairs department’s capacity to man the ports of entry.-newzimbabwe

9 COMMENTS

  1. Zuma Is Right! Just Imagine, South Africa Is Harbouring Over 2 Million Zimbabweans Who Have Illigally Crossed The Limpopo To Seek Fortune In That Country. Most Of Those Illigal Immigrants Are Responsible For Armed Bank Robberies, Pick Pockets And Other Vices.
    There Are About A Million Illigal And Illiterate Nigerian Immigration Pushing Drugs And Prostitution. They Have Made Certain Parts Of Bigger Cities Such As Cape Town, Joburg, Durban Etc Into No-Go Areas.
    There Are Hundreds Of Thousands Of Malawians Fighting For Domestic And Farm Jobs. So, Are Hundreds Of Thousands Mozambicans,
    There Are Equally Large Numbers Of Congolese, Zambians, Angolans, Somalis, Ethopians, Kenyans, Eretrians, Pakistanis, Even Talibans. It Seems All Nationalities Are Illigally In South Africa In Very Large Numbers. They Are A Big Security Risk.
    South Africans Need Room To Develop Their Country. I Sympathise With Poor Zuma.
    Africa! Even The Sick You Evacuate To South Africa!
    Do Not Critise Zuma, Sort Out Your Messy Here At Home!

  2. If I understand Zuma correctly, he’s saying xenophobic attacks are unfortunate but they are not a sole responsibility of South Africa. Post apartheid South Africa has offered so little to the indigenous South “Africans”. I think in the mind of those perpetrating these acts, “foreigners” have robbed them of the benefits of fighting for their freedom. let history not be forgotten. African governments need to be aware what painful history the Africans in South Africa underwent. xenophobia presents the frustrations of these people. South Africa can’t feed other Africans if it cannot take care of itself. the killings are very unfortunate but other African countries need to take responsibility too. South Africa cannot be heaven for all Africans.

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