Attacks a cause for concern

The ongoing organised violence against African refugees in our country is cause for serious concern.

The ongoing organised violence against African refugees in our country is cause for serious concern.

Such xenophobic attacks need to be condemned in the strongest possible terms.

It is against this background that we applaud Gwen Ramokgopa, the executive mayor of Tshwane, and Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula for their prompt visit to Atteridgeville, the scene of the latest violence.

Yesterday's visit by the two politicians is significant. It reinforces the message that our nation is not innately hostile to foreigners. It is also important that the politicians were accompanied by community leaders.

Also, the fact that residents blame criminals in their midst for the bloody attacks should provide some measure of comfort to our displaced African brothers and sisters.

Of course, the mere assurance that they are being targeted by criminals, instead of being victims of a sinister purge, is not enough to make them feel safe.

It should be accompanied by decisive actions against the perpetrators of such dastardly acts. The police should do their job and lock up those behind the violence.

The example set by the mayor by speaking out should be emulated by other mayors across the country. Likewise, the minister must take the lead in ensuring the government accords refugees the dignity they deserve.

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