Premium Journalist
2 minute read
17 Apr 2015
1:28 pm

African envoys vow to defeat xenophobia


Ambassadors from African countries vowed on Friday to work closely with the South African government to stem xenophobic violence spreading across the country.

FILE PICTURE: An Ethopian woman holds her countries flag at the Durban city hall showing the blood of her brother who was hit along the Pixley Ka Seme street in Durban. Picture Phumlani Thabethe

Dean of Diplomatic Corps, Democratic Republic of Congo Ambassador Bene M’Poko told reporters in Pretoria that there was unity of purpose and solidarity amongst the African states. “We, as Africans, and South Africa are going to work together to end this violence. We defeated colonialism, we defeated apartheid by working together so we are confident that if we put our heads together we are going to stop this,” he said.

“There are structured that have been put in place so that we can interact until we come to the end of this thing and to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”  International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane had a meeting with African heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Pretoria.

The meeting followed numerous incidents of xenophobic violence targeting mainly African immigrants. Maite-Nkoana said South Africa appeals to African countries not to retaliate.

“We communicate with our fellow African brothers and sisters through diplomatic representation here in the country. Beyond that, South Africa has more than 45 embassies and high commissions across the continent, they will also be taking messages to the governments,” she said.

“We need to nip this in the bud. We say no to xenophobia. United we stand.” There were reports of African countries threatening retaliatory action against South African citizens and investments within their borders.

Nkoana-Mashabane said all African countries with missions in South Africa were represented at the Friday meeting. She said South Africa appreciates and acknowledged the role played by African countries in the liberation struggle.

“Africans have invested through life and limb, politically, economically and socio-culturally with South Africa,” she said.

“The ambassador of Mauritania was reminding us earlier that OR Tambo our elder statesman carried a Mauritanian passport in 1962. That’s why these investments Africans have made since that time should not be compromised in one day.”