Ministers warn against attacks

THE Cabinet has set up a high-powered team of eight ministers to prevent attacks on foreigners after the World Cup.

Government spokesperson Themba Maseko announced this in Parliament yesterday.

The team consists of Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Social Development Minister Edna Molewa, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Cooperative Governance Minister Sicelo Shiceka, Arts and Culture Minister Lulu Xingwana and International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Maseko said the anti-xenophobia team was being set up so that government did not repeat the mistakes made in 2008, when intelligence services had no warning of the attacks that swept the country.

"Government would like to reiterate that any attacks are totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.

"The law enforcement agencies will not hesitate to act speedily and decisively against anyone found to incite or participate in violent acts against foreign nationals," Maseko said.

Foreigners in Du Noon informal settlement, outside Cape Town, told Sowetan they have been warned they would be attacked.

"I'm looking for a house in Parklands (a nearby suburb). They (some locals) say they want us out after the World Cup," another said.

In Khayelitsha, foreigners told Sowetan: "They tell us that we should go back to where we came from once the World is over. A day does not go by without hearing that on the streets.

"We are scared for our lives because they say it's going to be worse than the attacks we experienced two years ago."

A school principal said one of her staff members has packed her bags for Zimbabwe after letters were shoved under the doors of foreigners, saying they would be "wiped out" after the World Cup visitors had left.