Mhlaba Memela

Mhlaba Memela

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Mishack Radebe believes that the ongoing xenophobic attacks are being instigated by individuals who make a living out of it.

Radebe said he was concerned about the spate of violence that has erupted in the province.

"The xenophobic attacks are planned at business meetings," Radebe said. "There is no way our people could organise themselves so well for such a dirty campaign.

"The tactics used in these attacks are similar to those of the past, which left many people dead in KwaZulu-Natal."

Radebe told Sowetan that there were indications that the xenophobic attacks were cooked up somewhere.

"I assure you it's discussed on business-class planes and conveyed through cellphones," he said.

"Our people will not do such a terrible thing to fellow Africans. It's premeditated and aimed at making a business out of the blood of the people."

Radebe urged South Africans who had complaints about service delivery or the lack of jobs not to blame foreign nationals.

"These people create jobs for themselves. In every corner you find a salon or spaza shop.

"They boost our economy, while South Africans are lazy and blame other people for taking jobs from them."

Radebe said that during the violent era in the province ANC and IFP leaders noticed that there were people making a business out of the blood of their members.

He said in 1988 more that 68 people were killed in 15 minutes and the next day 34 died in Mpumalanga. The ANC and IFP were blamed for the deaths.

"But we finally found out that people were bussed into the township, even from outside the country, to attack IFP and ANC supporters," Radebe said.

"We developed a strategy and made peace after noticing that it was not violence between the ANC and IFP."

Radebe said there was no way ANC and IFP supporters could be involved in such barbaric acts of xenophobia.

He said he was worried about Bafana Bafana since they were about to take a trip to Nigeria for an Afcon qualifier.

"Our team is in crisis because of these barbaric acts to our African brothers and sisters," Radebe said. See also page 8