African Union Chairperson, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, says South Africa should do more to stem on-going deadly xenophobic attacks targeting foreign nationals in the country.
Dr. Dlamini-Zuma expressed her “grave concern regarding the tragedy unfolding in South Africa” as thousands marched in the streets of Johannesburg against the attacks that started a few weeks ago in Durban, following alleged remarks by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini that foreigners should leave South Africa.
At least seven people are said to have died so far.
“The African Union calls on the government of the Republic of South Africa to do more to protect the foreigners in the country,” said Dr. Dlamini-Zuma, adding South Africa has since time immemorial been a diverse country and should remain so.
“Humanity has always regarded the killing of a fellow human being as a grave crime. Everywhere in the world, including South Africa, there’s no justification under the sun for this kind of violence against fellow human beings and fellow Africans,” the AU chief said.
Neighboring countries like Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique have provided transportation for their nationals running away from the attacks in South Africa. Nigeria and Ethiopia have been leading complaints from fellow African countries wanting President Jacob Zuma’s government to do more to stop the attacks.
Dr. Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa’s strength lies in its diverse nature, adding this should not be seen by some as a threat.
“The wealth in South Africa was therefore built by both South Africans and Africans from elsewhere,” she said. “This continues to be so today.”
Dr. Dlamini-Zuma said just as there are other Africans living and working in South Africa, South Africans were all over the world, also working in other countries.
“They (South Africans) are respected and welcomed by the people of those countries and protected by their governments,” she said as she implored President Jacob Zuma’s government, which has deployed the army to stem the attacks, to do more to protect foreign nationals.