LEADER of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Sello Malema, has said foreigners are welcome and South Africa is for everybody in the wake of attacks targeting truck drivers and businesses owned by foreign nationals in Johannesburg since Sunday.
Malema said it was wrong for South Africans to think that foreign nationals were taking over their job and economic opportunities, adding that if anything, persons from other countries were actually contributing to the economic development of South Africa.
“Whether you are from South Africa, whether you are from Zimbabwe, whether you are from Nigeria – this is your home.
“There are no jobs in South Africa because whites are refusing to invest money in South Africa, they’ve got too many savings in the bank,” Malema said in a statement he signed.
“When it is a white person in South Africa undocumented it’s called an investor, including Indians and Chinese. Self hate must come to an end!
“Africa we are one, Nigerians are our brothers. Let’s be tolerant.”
Meanwhile, SA President Cyril Ramaphosa said that behaviour was unaccceptable.
“It cannot be accepted; it dehumanises us as South Africans to attack other people because we think they are lesser beings. We must act decisively to end such violence and work to ensure that it does not happen again in Nelson Mandela’s South Africa, in Walter Sisulu’s South Africa, in Oliver Tambo’s South Africa.”
More than 90 people have been arrested for crimes ranging from looting to arson.
The BBC reported that police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets as they sought to quell the violence that has left foreigners feeling not safe, even though South African minister of police, Bheki Cele, said the incidents were not xenophobia but just “public violence.”