victims remembered

Pertunia Ratsatsi

Pertunia Ratsatsi

President Thabo Mbeki will today lead a National Tribute ceremony in remembrance of foreign nationals and South Africans who suffered in the recent xenophobic attacks.

The event, aimed at promoting peace and tolerance, will be held in the Pretoria City hall.

Speaking at a press briefing at the Union Buildings in Pretoria yesterday, Trevor Fowler, chief operations officer in the Presidency, said: "It is to show remorse and commitment to ensuring that such acts of violence are never repeated.

"The government has not considered financial aid for those displaced because the attacks involved criminal activities. If we did we would have to accommodate every victim of crime in the country."

Fowler said the government's efforts to reintegrate foreign nationals is paying off because the number of people in temporary shelters throughout the country has decreased.

"People have voluntarily gone back to their homes, where they were welcomed by the community," Fowler said. "This is a sign that ubuntu exists in South Africa."

Among those attending will be government leaders, members of the diplomatic corps, families of victims and civil society. More than 60 foreigners and locals were killed in the attacks and thousands displaced.