The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has raised its concerns about the recent attacks on foreign nationals in certain parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
In a statement on Friday, the ACDP said the recent attacks, which included the looting of shops, the burning down of houses and accusing some foreign nationals of running brothels in Pretoria West and of being drug dealers, brought shame to South Africa.
ACDP MP Cherylynn Dudley said: “Regardless of the perceived provocation, it is unthinkable that people should take the law into their own hands.
“Xenophobic violence brings shame on us as a nation, as loss of life and damage to property impact negatively on the entire community and undermines progress.”
The party called on the minister of police to ensure that police responded to complaints and conflict situations in all communities, but even more so in vulnerable communities, with urgency, “as any complacency or perceived lack of concern only adds to the heightened tensions”.
The ACDP echoed the sentiments of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in calling for all sectors of South African society to act humanely and in a lawful manner.
The party further supported Gigaba, in response to concerns from locals that “foreign nationals are preferred by some employers”, that the hospitality sector had made a commitment to comply with South Africa’s labour and immigration laws, especially the requirement to employ a minimum 60% of local people.
“A total of 63 people, employed by Spar supermarket without documentation, were arrested across three stores and have been detained at Pretoria-Noord and Kameeldrift SAPS. A total of 33,339 people were deported during the 2015/16 financial year,” Dudley said.
Earlier xenophobic attacks in 2008 and again in 2015 left a number of people dead and displaced thousands more across South Africa
“The ACDP urges all departments and Chapter Nine institutions to remain alert to rising tensions over services in vulnerable communities and to respond speedily to complaints and conflicts,” Dudley added.