LOC and church condemn attacks

The 2010 world cup local organising committee yesterday condemned the brutal attacks on foreign nationals living in South Africa.

LOC chief executive officer Danny Jordaan urged the people behind the attacks to stop them immediately.

Jordaan was speaking at the signing of a cooperation agreement between the LOC, South African Football Association and Premier Soccer League.

Also present were Safa chief executive officer Raymond Hack and PSL, chief executive officer Kjetil Siem.

"Our standpoint is crystal clear," Jordaan said. "We condemn the attacks on foreigners. What is happening is a total contradiction of what we stand for."

He said when South Africa was bidding to host the tournament the message was clear that it would be an African World Cup.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Africa has added its voice to those condemning the attacks.

The church expressed fears that the violence might spread to other unaffected parts of the country.

Bishop Johannes Ramashapa said the church views the attacks as the work of criminals. He also blamed massive poverty and inequality in some areas where attacks took place.

"We call on the government to implement policies that will deal with the situation," Ramashapa said. "We also call on it to deal with corruption and inefficiency in service delivery."

Ramashapa was speaking at a meeting of Lutheran Church leaders.

He asked for forgiveness from the victims of the xenophobic attacks.

"We seek your forgiveness for this," he said. "We pledge to work with other faith-based communities to find lasting solutions. We commend the work that has already been done."

The Lutheran Church called on its members to distance themselves from these evil acts.

"Rather become witnesses of the love of Christ and embrace strangers in our midst by offering humanitarian aid to the victims," Ramashapa said.