'Attacks shamed us'

President Thabo Mbeki, pictured, yesterday called on the youth of the country to stand up against perpetrators of xenophobic violence.

President Thabo Mbeki, pictured, yesterday called on the youth of the country to stand up against perpetrators of xenophobic violence.

Addressing young people who had gathered at the University of the Western Cape to celebrate Youth Day, Mbeki said the youth had a responsibility to protect foreigners.

"One of your immediate and critical responsibilities is to protect our fellow Africans who live in our country from the cowardly attacks by criminals, which we have seen here in Cape Town and other parts of our country in the last few weeks."

Mbeki, who was accompanied by Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad, National Youth Commission chairman Nomi Nkondlo and MEC for community safety Leonard Ramatlakane, told the youth that recent criminal acts against foreigners had shamed the country.

"At the same time, we must admit that all of us have been humiliated and shamed by the small number of young people who recently took it upon themselves to lead the criminal acts against fellow Africans who live amongst us, and participated in looting their property."

Ramatlakane also urged the youth to distance themselves from the perpetrators of xenophobic violence. - Sapa

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