Ramaphosa Asks South Africans To Tolerate Migrants

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the crowd gathered in Makhanda, Eastern Cape Province on April 27, 2019.  Michele Spatari / AFP

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday urged South Africans to be tolerant of migrants following recent xenophobic violence, as hundreds of refugees camped outside UN offices demanding to be removed the country, fearing for their safety.  

“We are insisting there needs to be more tolerance, there needs to be more understanding,” Ramaphosa told the upper house of parliament in Cape Town.

In August and early September, the country saw a wave of xenophobic violence that left 10 South Africans and two migrants dead when mobs descended on foreign-owned stores in and around Johannesburg, destroying properties and looting.

“South Africans are not xenophobic, we are not,” he said, describing the recent unrest as having been “driven by criminality”.

Ramaphosa said while migration was a challenge, with locals and foreigners competing for limited resources and services, “there should never be any form of prejudice that will be exercised or perpetrated against others.”

He answered questions in parliament, a few office blocks away from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) offices, where up to 300 foreigners staged a sit-in, demanding to be taken out of South Africa saying they were no longer safe.

They vowed not to leave the premises until the UNHCR addressed their concerns.

As Africa’s most industrialised nation, South Africa is a magnet for economic migrants searching for better job prospects and asylum seekers looking for safety.

But the migrants gathered outside the UNHCR offices insist the country is no longer safe for them.

In a statement it assured the refugees and asylum seekers that it was “working closely” with South African authorities to continue providing protection through issuing appropriate identity documentation, facilitating access to health care, education and employment opportunities.

South Africa is hosting close to 268,000 refugees and asylum seekers, mainly from Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia, among others according to the UNHCR.

“As South Africans we should be embracing one another and indeed we should also embrace foreign nationals,” Ramaphosa added.

Buhari, Ramaphosa Vow To ‘Take All Necessary Measures’ Against Xenophobia

President Muhammadu Buhari with his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, on October 3, 2019.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, have vowed to put in place all measures needed to prevent a reoccurrence of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in that country.

This was contained in a joint communique issued by both leaders at the end of their meeting on Thursday in Pretoria, South Africa.

At the meeting, President Ramaphosa briefed President Buhari on the recent incidents of violence affecting foreign nationals living in his country.

He also acknowledged that the attacks on foreigners were not consistent with the values and principles underpinning the country’s constitutional democracy.

The South African leader, however, dispelled the notion that incidents of violence affecting foreign nationals were targeted at Nigerian nationals, saying other foreign nationals and South Africans were also affected.

He assured President Buhari that the South African government was fully in control of the situation and several interventions, including engagements with the diplomatic community and others, were underway.

On his part, President Buhari who condemned the attacks on Nigerians expressed profound gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation.

He also invited his South African counterpart to pay a reciprocal visit to Nigeria on a date to be jointly agreed and communicated through diplomatic channels.

Read the full text of the joint communique issued by both Presidents below:

JOINT COMMUNIQUE ON THE OCCASION OF THE STATE VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AND THE INAUGURAL SESSION OF THE ELEVATED BI-NATIONAL COMMISSION BETWEEN SOUTH AFRICA AND NIGERIA, PRETORIA

03 OCTOBER 2019

  1. At the invitation of the President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa; His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, paid a State Visit to South Africa from 02 – 04 October 2019, and attended the inaugural session of the elevated Bi-National Commission (BNC), as part of continuing bilateral engagements aimed at strengthening and deepening cooperation between South Africa and Nigeria.
  2. President Buhari was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising State Governors, Ministers, and Senior Government Officials.
  3. The two Heads of State reviewed a wide range of bilateral, continental and global issues of common interest. They acknowledged the historical and strategic relations that exist between the two countries, and the need to further strengthen the ties of friendship and cooperation.
  4. The two Presidents noted with satisfaction the continued exchange of high-level visits and meetings between the two countries. In this regard, they recalled the successful working visit of President Ramaphosa to Nigeria in July 2018, during which the two Heads of State reaffirmed their collective desire and commitment to enhance political, economic and social relations between the two countries.
  5. The two Presidents appreciated the vast nature of the two countries’ bilateral cooperation which covers, amongst others; Trade and Investment, Energy, Mining, Defence and Security issues, Justice, Police, Immigration, Tourism, Environment, Education, transport as well as Science and Technology. In this regard, the two Presidents took note of the thirty-two (32) signed Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), and committed themselves to ensuring that those which are in force are fully implemented while those which are not yet in force are to be revived for implementation.
  6. Both Presidents noted with great satisfaction the economic cooperation between the two Republics and welcomed the steps to increase trade volumes as well as private sector investments. They welcomed the important role of the Business Forum, which took place on the margins of the State Visit. The two leaders further welcomed the decision to establish a Joint Ministerial Advisory Council on Industry, Trade, and Investment. The inaugural meeting of the Council would be held not later than April 2020, in Abuja. The Council is expected to serve as a critical vehicle in facilitating and promoting private sector participation in the economies of both countries.
  7. Both leaders took note of the significant footprint of South African businesses operating in Nigeria in sectors such as telecommunications, mining, aviation, banking and finance, retail, property, entertainment and fast food industries. They also noted and welcomed the business activities of Nigeria’s small, micro and medium enterprises, as well as the investment of Dangote Sephaku Cement in South Africa.
  8. President Ramaphosa used the opportunity of the meeting to brief President Buhari on the recent incidents of violence in South Africa affecting foreign nationals. He also alluded to the fact that these unfortunate incidents are not consistent with the values and principles underpinning South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
  9. President Ramaphosa also dispelled the notion that incidents of violence affecting foreign nationals were targeted at Nigerian nationals, as other foreign nationals and indeed South Africans were affected as well. The President assured his counterpart that the South African Government was fully in control of the situation and several interventions including engagements with the diplomatic community and émigré communities, security operations, policy, and legislation reviews were underway.
  10. Both Presidents strongly condemned the attacks against foreign nationals including Nigerians in South Africa and the reprisal actions against South Africans and their interests in Nigeria. They expressed a strong commitment to take all necessary measures to stop a recurrence of these attacks which they said undermine the vision of a strong and prosperous Africa that the two countries have for the continent.
  11. President Ramaphosa further contended that South Africa is an integral part of the African continent and, in this context advocates for a peaceful, vibrant and sustainable Africa and that as Africans, we all have a shared commitment to foster peace and greater continental unity. He further stated that we should never forget that our fellow Africans have contributed to developing our economy, and that of the region and similarly South Africans are helping to develop economies across the continent.
  12. Both Presidents condemned these violent incidents and the destruction of property and reiterated their call for heightened law enforcement. They stressed the importance of high-level engagements on this unfortunate phenomenon as demonstrated by the reciprocal dispatch of Special Envoys by both countries. In this regard, the two Presidents endorsed the establishment of an Early Warning Mechanism and directed the two Foreign Ministers to give practical expression to the Early Warning Mechanism to be used as a preventative and monitoring platform.
  13. The two Presidents further endorsed the reestablishment of the Republic of South Africa and the Federal Republic of Nigeria consular Forum to meet twice a year.
  14. At the Continental level, the two Presidents exchanged views on the current political, economic and security situation in their respective regions. They also expressed their grave concern on the ongoing instability in some of the countries on the Continent and strongly condemned the continued terrorist and extremist activities.
  15. Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to working together in pursuit of sustainable peace and economic development on the continent in the context of AU Agenda 2063 and the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA).
  16. On the international front, President Ramaphosa seized the opportunity of the meeting to congratulate Nigeria as the current Chair of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). In the same vein, President Buhari also congratulated South Africa as the President of the United Nations Security Council for the month of October 2019 and as the upcoming chair of the African Union for the year 2020. They reiterated their call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council.
  17. President Buhari expressed profound gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He also took the opportunity to invite President Ramaphosa to pay a reciprocal visit to the Federal Republic of Nigeria on a date to be jointly agreed and communicated through diplomatic channels.
  18. In conclusion, the two Presidents reaffirmed the strategic relations that exist between the two sister Republics and committed themselves to working together to further enhance close political, economic and social cooperation in the interest of their people and the continent.

DONE IN PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA

03 OCTOBER 2019

Buhari Calls For Protection Of Nigerians, Foreigners Living In South Africa

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday began a visit to South Africa with a call for the protection of Nigerians and other foreign nationals living in the country.

Buhari condemned the xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg, South Africa’s capital which led to the looting of shops owned by foreign nationals.

He demanded that measures should be put in place to prevent the re-occurrence of the attacks.

READ ALSO: Arrest, Prosecute Foreigners Engaged In Illegal Mining – Lawan

“Mr President, we have condemned in strongest terms attacks against Nigerians and other African nationals living in South Africa, including the looting of their shops and businesses and burning of their properties.

“We call for the strengthening and the implementation of all the necessary measures to prevent the reoccurrence of such actions,” Buhari said at the start of the meeting with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa in response repeatedly apologised over the attacks, reiterated his government’s “deep regret at the incidents of public violence.”

“Some of the acts of violence were directed at foreign nationals and some of whom coming from your own country.

“We firmly condemn all forms of intolerance and will not hesitate to act against criminal acts and violence,” he said.

Buhari and his counterpart Ramaphosa later went into long-planned talks aimed at bolstering trade ties and political cooperation to boost their economies.

The three-day state visit, by Buhari to South Africa is the first by a Nigerian leader since 2013, had been planned before the wave of violence.

A “town hall meeting” between Buhari and Nigerians living in South Africa is scheduled for Friday to listen to the expats’ experience and showcase efforts to support them.

Buhari, 10 Governors And Ministers To Visit South Africa On Wednesday

 

President Muhammadu Buhari will On Wednesday depart Abuja for South Africa, with 10 governors and Ministers following an invitation by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The three-day trip which comes against the background of recent xenophobic attacks will see both leaders discuss the welfare of Nigerians in the country, and find common grounds for building harmonious relations with their hosts.

While in South Africa, President Buhari will also hold a town hall meeting with Nigerians living in the country, with a view to sharing in their experiences and reassuring them of the government’s commitment to protecting their lives and property and promoting peaceful co-existence.

He will also preside over the South Africa/Nigeria Bi-National Commission along with his host, during which a progress report will be presented.

At the end of the meeting, both leaders will sign a joint communiqué.

The President and his delegation including Nigerian business representatives will also participate at a South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum with their host counterparts.

Among those to accompany the President are Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State.

Others are: Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (retd); Minister of Power, Eng. Saleh Mamman; Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch. Olamilekan Adegbite; Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi; and Minister of State, Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum.

Also on the trip are: National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd); Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar; and Chairman/CEO Nigeria Diaspora Commission, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

The President will return to Abuja on Friday.

Xenophobia: Buhari’s Meeting With Ramaphosa Will Address Issue, Says Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed optimism that the proposed meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, would go a long way to address the issue of xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in that country.

He stated this on Saturday while answering questions from journalists at his Presidential Library in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

“The meeting that President Buhari and President Ramaphosa will have during the first week of October should smoothen the ground and the right statement and the right action coming from both sides should encourage our people to go back,” the elder statesman said.

He added, “My joy is that President Ramaphosa is ready to do what needs to be done to stop this ugly incident and to put the relationship between Nigeria and South Africa on the right track.”

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo addresss reporters in Abeokuta, Ogun State on September 28, 2019.

 

The former president was confident that the meeting of the two leaders scheduled to hold in October would provide the much-needed avenue for smothering of the near strain relationship between their countries over the xenophobia in South Africa.

READ ALSO: Obasanjo Asks Nigeria, Others To Report South Africa To AU

He supported the calls for compensation for those whose businesses were destroyed during the recent attacks in that country.

Obasanjo commended the steps taken so far by the two presidents and called for the reactivation of the bilateral commission between the two countries.

He, however, asked Nigerians to be law-abiding and be good ambassadors of the country wherever they find themselves.

“As I have always said, Nigerians living outside Nigeria must try to be good citizens of wherever they live.

“And when I was president, when I met Nigerians abroad; I said look, being good citizens of the country in which you live and then, tie to when you will be good citizens of the world and when you come back home, you will be good citizens of Nigeria,” the elder statesman noted.

Xenophobia: Buhari Pledges ‘Solidified’ Nigeria-South Africa Ties As Ramaphosa Apologises

President Muhammadu Buhari with South African Special Envoy to Nigeria, Mr Jeff Radebe, at the State House in Abuja on September 16, 2019.

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has responded to profuse apologies from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In the wake of the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other foreigners in South Africa, the President pledged that relationship between the two countries “will be solidified”.

According to a statement by his media adviser, Mr Femi Adesina, President Buhari described the attacks on Nigerians and other victims as “very unfortunate.”

READ ALSO: Ramaphosa Apologises To Nigeria Over Xenophobic Attacks

Receiving South Africa’s Special Envoy, Mr Jeff Radebe, on Monday at the Presidential Villa, the Nigerian leader extended appreciation to Ramaphosa “for coming to explain to us what happened in South Africa recently, leading to killing and displacement of foreigners.”

 

 

We Made Sacrifices

He also went down memory lane, recalling the roles played by Nigeria in engendering majority rule in South Africa and ending the apartheid segregationist policy.

President Buhari said, “Going back to historical antecedents, we made great sacrifices for South Africa to become a free state.

“I was a junior officer to (late) General Murtala Muhammad, and General Olusegun Obasanjo (rtd). They were not operating in a democracy, but they got Nigerians to support them in the bid to see a free South Africa.”

“Our leadership was quite committed to the cause. We made sacrifices, which younger people of today may not know.

“During my last visit to South Africa with the late President Robert Mugabe, it was very emotional, as Mugabe spoke about Nigeria’s contribution to free South Africa,” he added.

Earlier, Mr Radebe apologised on behalf of his President for what he called “acts of criminality and violence” that recently occurred in his country.

“Such do not represent our value system or those of the larger number of South Africans,” he stated.

The special envoy stressed that South Africa was an integral part of Africa and fully committed to peace and integration of the continent.

On the death toll as a result of the attacks in South Africa, he informed the President that there was no Nigerian casualty.

According to Radebe, 10 people died during the attacks – two Zimbabweans and eight South Africans.

He added that South Africa remains eternally grateful for the role Nigeria played in ending apartheid.

The envoy was also hopeful that the scheduled visit of President Buhari to South Africa would solidify the relationship between the two countries once again.

 

Ramaphosa Apologises To Nigeria Over Xenophobic Attacks

A file photo of South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, delivering a speech during his inauguration at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria on May 25, 2019.

 

 

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has apologised to Nigeria over the xenophobic attacks in his country.

The country’s special envoy, Mr Jeff Radebe, tendered the apology on behalf of the South African leader when he visited Nigeria on Monday.

Mr Radebe spoke during a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Villa in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari with South African Special Envoy to Nigeria, Mr Jeff Radebe, at the State House in Abuja on September 16, 2019.

 

READ ALSO: Soludo, Rewane, Others Appointed To Economic Advisory Council

Also present at the meeting were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Kabiru Bala; as well as the acting South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, Bobby Moroe.

The special envoy presented a letter and conveyed the message from the South African leader to President Buhari.

President Ramaphosa, according to Radebe, said the attacks provided a good opportunity for African leaders to tackle unemployment and inequality in the entire continent.

He added that the issue of compensation to Nigerian victims would feature during President Buhari’s visit to South Africa on October 3.

Meanwhile, Mr Onyeama has confirmed that the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa has not been recalled but invited to give a clearer picture of events.

President Ramaphosa had sent special envoys to Nigeria and six other countries over the xenophobic attacks in his country.

This followed a situation in Zimbabwe where he was booed while addressing mourners at late Robert Mugabe’s funeral on Saturday last week.

Apart from Nigeria, the special envoys were instructed to visit Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

The South African leader asked the envoys to deliver messages of solidarity to the Heads of State and Governments of those nations following the attacks on their citizens in his country.

Other South Africans assigned to visit those countries are Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo and Dr Khulu Mbatha.

Xenophobia: Ramaphosa Sends Special Delegation To Nigeria, Seven Other Countries

File photo: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a crowd.
Photo: Michele Spatari / AFP

 

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa has sent out special envoys to deliver messages of solidarity to several Heads of State and Governments across Africa.

The team, comprising former minister in the presidency, Mr Jeff Radebe, Ambassador Kingsley Mmabolo and Dr. Khulu Mbatha, will visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia.

The Special Envoys will deliver a message from President Ramaphosa regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts of South Africa, which resulted in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property.


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They are also expected to reassure fellow African countries that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and to the rule of law.

Beyond that, they will also brief governments in the identified countries about the steps that the South African government is taking to bring a stop to the attacks and to hold the perpetrators to account.

This comes days after 188 Nigerians where successfully evacuated from South Africa via an Air Peace Airline, following an order by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Crowd Boos Ramaphosa At Mugabe’s Funeral Over Xenophobic Attacks

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa bows on September 14, 2019, as he says a final farewell at the casket of late Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe during a farewell ceremony held for family and heads of state at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
TONY KARUMBA / AFP

 

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa was jeered and whistled at on Saturday during his speech at Zimbabwe ex-leader Robert Mugabe’s funeral before he apologised for recent xenophobic attacks.

At least 12 people have been killed this month in a surge in violence and mob attacks against foreign-owned businesses in and around Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city.

A wave of jeers, boos and whistles interrupted Ramaphosa at the Harare national stadium as he started his eulogy at the state funeral for Mugabe, who died age 95 last week.

“I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and apologise for what has happened in our country,” Ramaphosa said after one of the organisers tried to calm the crowd.

READ ALSO: Mugabe’s Legacy Will Live Long In The Hearts Of Africans – Osinbajo

His comments were met with cheers and blasts of sound horns from the crowd.

South Africa, the continent’s second-largest economy, is a major destination for other African migrants. But they are often targeted by some locals who blame them for a lack of jobs.

But with shops and homes burned and looted and clashes between armed mobs of looters and police, hundreds of migrants from Mozambique and Zimbabwe have fled to shelters.

Nigeria’s government has flown around 600 of its citizens home from Johannesburg after some of them were targeted in the violence.

AFP

Xenophobia: South African Govt Anticipates Buhari’s Visit In October

 

Amid recent attacks on Nigerians and other foreign nationals in South Africa, authorities in the country are anticipating President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit.

A statement for the South African presidency on Saturday explains that the Nigerian leader would undertake a State Visit to the country sometime in October.

The Nigerian government had announced on August 10 that the President would visit South Africa next month, but it is unclear if the visit will go as scheduled.

This comes amid growing concerns after Nigeria pulled out of the World Economic Summit taking place in the country over the attacks on its citizens.

Despite recent events, the South Africa government is optimistic that President Buhari’s state visit to the country will go as scheduled.

However, the Nigerian government has yet to confirm if the visit would take place.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Visit South Africa For Consular, Trade Issues

This followed a meeting between South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and the special envoy from Nigeria, Ambassador Ahmed Abubakar, which held on Friday afternoon in Pretoria.

Ambassador Abubakar, who is the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), conveyed President Buhari’s concern at recent events in South Africa, in the context of the strong and cordial relations that characterise the interaction between the two countries.

On his part, President Ramaphosa reaffirmed the relationship between the countries as being firm and strong, adding that both nations have been resolute in their shared commitment to building an Africa at peace with itself and others.

The South African leader said President Buhari conveyed his commitment to the values of prosperity and the advancement of the continent, shared by both countries and pledged Nigeria’s readiness to assist his country in finding lasting solutions to the challenges.

Ambassador Abubakar, who is expected back in Nigeria on Saturday, left the country for South Africa on Thursday on the directive of President Buhari.

The President sent the special envoy to South Africa following the alarming rate of xenophobic attacks reported to be targeted at Nigerians and other foreigners living in the country.

Read the full statement from the South African presidency below:

His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari will undertake a State Visit to South Africa in October 2019 to reinforce the strong bonds between the two countries and jointly develop responses to challenges affecting people and businesses in South Africa and Nigeria.

In the wake of public violence in South Africa and developments in Nigeria around South African businesses based in the West African country, President Cyril Ramaphosa held discussions yesterday, Friday 6 September 2019, with Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Special envoy of The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.

The visit to Pretoria by the Special Envoy followed a recent meeting between Presidents Ramaphosa and Buhari in Yokohama, Japan, on the sidelines of the Summit of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

In yesterday’s discussion, the Special Envoy conveyed President Buhari’s concern at recent events in South Africa, in the context of the strong and cordial relations that characterise the interaction between the two countries.

President Buhari conveyed his commitment to the values of prosperity and the advancement of Africa that are shared by South Africa and Nigeria.

Nigeria stands ready to assist South Africa in establishing the root causes of and developing sustainable solutions to the challenges concerned.

President Buhari has undertaken that where challenges emerge in Nigeria, the Nigerian government will act against lawlessness and the targeting of South African assets in Nigeria.

President Ramaphosa reaffirmed South Africa-Nigeria relations as being firm and strong and said  the two partners were resolute in their shared commitment to build an Africa at peace with itself and others.

Issued by: The Presidency

Pretoria

Xenophobia: 10 Killed In South Africa – Ramaphosa

President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a public meeting in the Western Cape Province, about 350km from Cape Town.  RODGER BOSCH / AFP

 

At least 10 people have been killed by xenophobic violence in South Africa this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said Thursday, adding that one victim was a foreign national.

READ ALSO: Xenophobia: Somalia Asks South African Government To Protect Citizens

“There can be no excuse for the attacks on the homes and businesses of foreign nationals,” Ramaphosa said in a speech aired on national television and radio.

“Equally, there is no justification for the looting and destruction of businesses owned by South Africans.”

Ramaphosa Vows To Intensify War On Rape, Murder Of Women

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses the crowd in Makhanda, Eastern Cape Province on April 27, 2019.       Michele Spatari / AFP

 

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday vowed to tighten laws to fight rape and murder of women as the nation reels from high profile murders in recent days.

In an impromptu address thousands of protesters outside parliament, Ramaphosa admitted that it was time his government took emergency measures to deal with the scourge of rape and murder of women.

At least 137 sexual offences are committed per day, mainly against women, according to official figures.

READ ALSO: South African Consulate, Shops Attacked In DR Congo

Women Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, said this week that more than 30 women were killed by their spouses last month alone.

“Enough is enough and we are going to act,” said Ramaphosa, promising to announce later Thursday a raft of new measures his government will take.

“Men that kill and rape must stay in jail for life.

“The law must change that once you have raped and kill you get life, no bail!” Ramaphosa told the angry crowd.

Thousands of women protested for a second consecutive day in Cape Town at rallies prompted by last month’s brutal murders that have triggered outcry and much soul-searching in a country that is seen as one of the world’s most dangerous places for women and often appears numb to murder and sexual violence.

In one case University of Cape Town student, Uyinene “Nene” Mrwetyana, 19, was raped and bludgeoned to death when she went to a post office on August 24.

And on Friday boxing champion Leighandre “Baby Lee” Jegels, 25, was allegedly shot dead by her partner, who was a police officer.

“Parliament must make a decision on declaring this a state of emergency,” said Ramaphosa, who left the World Economic Forum meeting in Cape Town early to accept a memorandum delivered to parliament by a mass demonstration of mainly women.

“I agree completely that the killing of women must be bought to an end here in South Africa,” he added.

On Wednesday around 500 women demonstrated against South Africa’s “femicide epidemic” in front of Cape Town International Conference Centre, where a three-day World Economic Forum on Africa was opening.

Last year South Africa recorded a 6.9 percent increase in the number of murders countrywide, with an average 57 murders committed each day.

AFP