The attacks against foreign nationals living in South Africa are spiralling out of control. They started in KwaZulu Natal and later spread to parts of Johannesburg. The South African government is struggling to contain the violence which left at least six people dead and forced more than 1000 immigrants to flee their homes.
CapeTalk presenter Africa Melane spoke to Deprose Muchena, Southern Africa Regional Director to Amnesty International. The organisation took the South African government to task for not showing the political willingness to stop the xenophobic attacks in the country.
As Amnesty International we acknowledge the response we saw in parliament yesterday. Particularly the Minister of Home Affairs spoke very clearly and for the first time unequivocally about dismissing the kinds of myths that’s being paddled around about the community of migrants, refugees and nationals from other countries that live within South Africa. In the past South African authorities have not done enough. I think what the South African authorities would need to do much more of is to really stop the cycle of impunity. For as long as people who perpetuate these crimes know that there is no consequence, the cycle will continue.
Amnesty International wants to see improvements in the area of policing and the delivery of justice. They want people perpetuating criminality to be arrested. Muchena also said that as Amnesty International they are concerned by the comments made by King Goodwill Zwelithini. He says that the king should take responsibility for his words to stop the violence.
South Africa is known as a human rights respecting country and what we see happening now is the complete opposite of what this country could be as the leader of the continent.
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This article first appeared on 702 : Arrest the perpetrators of criminality - Amnesty International