winnie says sorry
Senior ANC member Winnie Madikizela-Mandela yesterday apologised to foreigners who were attacked in Alexandra.
"We are sorry, please forgive us, it is not South African to do this. South Africans are not like this."
Madikizela-Mandela said her apology was aimed at the homeless victims, those who were killed and injured in the violent attacks in the township, north of Johannesburg.
Madikizela-Mandela was part of a group of ANC and government officials who visited the township.
Among the delegates were Paul Mashatile, Gauteng finance MEC, Nomvula Mokonyane, MEC for housing, and Ignatius Jacobs, MEC for transport.
Hundreds of victims, mostly foreigners, had already spent three nights at the police station after attacks by a mob who demanded that they leave the area, accusing them of being responsible for most of the criminal activities in the township.
"Three people have been killed, two South Africans and another whose nationality is yet to be confirmed," said Constable Neria Malefetse.
"More than 60 people have been injured and we have arrested 53 people in connection with the violence."
She said the police were investigating two cases of rape. The latest victims, she said, were three teenagers.
"One was shot, the other stabbed and the last grazed by a bullet after a mob attack on Tuesday night."
Roda Rotabundo, 30, a mother of nine-month-old twins, has been at the police station since Monday morning.
"My children are surviving on breast milk because all we get here is bread and soup," she said.
She has been in South Africa for two years, working at a spaza shop in Alexandra. She said she was still mourning the death of her husband, Mobina, who died in a car accident last month.
"We will do our best to help you. It is not South Africans who do not love you, these are just criminals who can be found anywhere in the world," said Madikizela-Mandela.
She visited the families of people who were killed, reassuring them that something was being done about the situation.
Her visit eased the mood in the tense township.