Opinion

Xenophobic attacks: ANC's top brass wants answers

Xenophobic attacks: ANC's top brass wants answers

The ANC's top brass has called on government's justice, peace and security cluster to establish the causes of violence directed at foreigners in Johannesburg. 

In a statement on Tuesday, ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said the party's national officials met the day before to discuss the violence that has engulfed parts of the country over the past week. 

“The officials were insistent that all acts of violence be condemned, including criminal acts directed at foreign nationals living in South Africa. The ANC is deeply concerned at what appears to be criminal elements sowing discord in several Gauteng communities by exploiting grievances around unemployment, crime, drugs and migration,” Magashule said. 

"[The ANC] calls on government’s justice, peace and security cluster to establish the immediate causes of the violence and identify those involved in fuelling it.”

The party also called on government to accelerate efforts to address the social and economic conditions in the country.

“These latest events underline the need for a government that is in touch with the people and responsive to their needs. All of us have a responsibility towards building safer communities, and adherence to the rule of law is the duty of each one of us,” Magashule said. 

“No matter what grievances people may have, however, there can be no justification for the acts of arson, assault, looting and murder that have been committed against both South African and foreign nationals.”

The party has also called for tougher sentences to be imposed on perpetrators who rape and murder women. 

“The national officials expressed outrage at the growing incidents of femicide and called on law-enforcement agencies to impose tougher sentences, including life sentence, on those involved in such heinous crimes,” Magashule said.

“National officials have urged legislators to immediately consider changing legislation to empower our courts to give appropriate sentences to perpetrators.”