'Exiles must speak out on attacks'

THE African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has challenged former South African apartheid refugees to speak out against xenophobia.

ACDP president Kenneth Meshoe condemned the latest xenophobic attacks, particularly the incidents that took place in Westernburg in Polokwane. Six Zimbabweans were brutally beaten during an attack on Monday.

They sustained serious facial and bodily injuries and were taken to Polokwane Hospital for treatment. It's alleged that more than 100 other foreigners were attacked.

Meshoe said it was totally unacceptable to attack an entire community if one member of that community was accused of a crime.

"The ACDP agrees that there are some Zimbabwean nationals committing crime in this country - equally so, there are many (citizens) committing crime in this country too," he said.

Meshoe said if the government did not start ensuring that the perpetrators of attacks were prosecuted, the practice would go on. He said it was ironic that the attacks took place on the day Zambia's president gave President Jacob Zuma their highest honour.