Repaying neighbourly kindness with violence: Mandla Mandela

George Bizos and Mandla Mandela. Picture: Christine Vermooten

George Bizos and Mandla Mandela. Picture: Christine Vermooten

The Royal House of Mandela has strongly condemned the current spate of xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal, which goes against human rights principles.

“We hang our heads in shame as we recall how Madiba visited these African states after his release from incarceration acknowledging our burden of debt towards them,” late President Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Mandla Mandela said.

“Now we repay them in the most vile manner by attacking their sons and daughters, threatening their lives, robbing them of their hard earned livelihoods, looting, ransacking and burning their businesses. This all on our home soil that should be a place of refuge, safety, hope and dignity for all.”

The violence which has threatened to spill over to other provinces is a direct assault on the human rights principles enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, and runs contrary to the spirit of African solidarity upon which our own freedom relied so heavily, he continued.

“The Royal House of Mandela and the Mvezo Traditional Council condemn in the strongest terms the mindless violence, looting and attacks on foreigners in KZN, and in eThekweni in particular. We cannot condone hateful acts of cruelty perpetrated by hooligans, thugs and opportunistic criminals hiding behind xenophobic agendas. Such people must face the full wrath of the law and criminal justice system.

“It is a sad reflection on all South Africans to see the cruelty meted out to fellow Africans from countries that gave comfort and security to our own liberation fighters. It is these very countries that trained, funded and supported our liberation movements, often despite their own economic constraints and hardships – and in the face of the brutal Apartheid regime and its imperialist allies in the world.”

Traditional leaders were called “to desist from inciting such shameful acts”.

“Instead, as custodians of African traditional values, we must join hands and unite our communities behind a clarion call to stop all such acts of violence against our own African compatriots,” said Mandela.

“History will judge us harshly if we fail to raise our voices in protest. Our plea to traditional leaders, community based organisations, the larger faith community and all concerned citizens to work together tirelessly to halt this xenophobic violence.”


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