SA's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to apologise for inciting xenophobia

SA's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini to apologise for inciting xenophobia
Published: 2015 April 20 06:30:00 (13948 Views)
South Africa's Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has called a special imbizo and is expected to withdraw his call to foreigners to "pack and go home".

Zuma is also expected to address the imbizo which will be held at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.

Sources claim the imbizo was called by the king after pressure from government as attacks on foreigners continued.

Sources also claimed that Zuma allegedly contacted the king through the provincial government to call for an imbizo after opposition parties in Parliament, especially EFF leader Julius Malema, criticised the president on Thursday for not asking the king to tell locals to stop the violence.

Sources said the king would withdraw his statement, which is believed to have incited locals to attack foreigners for refusing to heed the Zulu monarch's call to "pack and go to their homes".

But the king told Daily Sun he never said that foreigners should be attacked.

He said he was only talking about illegal foreigners.

One chief who asked not to be named said the king's continuous denial that his speech incited violence was not helping.

"The fact that people interpreted his speech to mean they must chase foreigners out of the country is cause for concern. The king must own up because the language and the tone he used was indeed inciting hatred.

"Saying foreigners are messing up towns by hanging out rags was labelling them already," said the inkosi.

The SunTeam reportedly witnessed a group attacking foreigners at Umlazi, shouting "Bayede!" (Hail the king).

When interviewed, the attackers told the SunTeam: "Abahambe, usukhulumile umlomo ongathethi manga" (Foreigners must go, the king has spoken).

Despite these attacks, residents of Palm Ridge extension 4 in Ekurhuleni have vowed to protect foreigners living in their location.

Residents patrol the neighbourhood streets at night. They also have an army of supporters who are on standby should anything happen.

The patrollers said they didn't mind sacrificing their sleep to keep their streets safe.

Head patroller Prince Nkosi (49) said there are 10 shops owned by foreigners in the neighbourhood.

"We told them to close at 9pm to be safe and then we start to patrol. We want to make sure that no one attacks them or their shops."

Prince said during the attacks on foreigners seven years ago, the same patrollers prevented attacks from reaching Palm Ridge extension 4.

"There were people from neighbouring townships who tried to bring chaos here, but we just turned them away."

He said tension started to build up last week after some South Africans started pointing out RDP houses that belonged to known foreigners.

"We held a meeting and advised those foreigners to leave the RDPs because government gave locals these houses and title deeds and as such, government would deal with those who did illegal things."

Pastor James Mondlane, who said he was also helping with the patrols said that foreign shop owners often donated bread and drinks to poor people in the area.

The perpetrators of xenophobic attacks have been warned that they would face the full might of the law by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Gigaba said 307 people have so far been arrested for related acts since the attacks broke out over a week ago and they would face prosecution.

Gigaba said there were 'elements' who were taking advantage of the violence to plunge the country into anarchy.

"Over the past few days we have noticed a new phenomenon where people make use of social media to instil fear in different parts of the country," Gigaba said.

"They have been sending out fictitious SMS and WhatsApp messages with fictitious and photoshopped images warning people of imminent attacks."

He said these messages appeared to be orchestrated by elements "bent on taking advantage of unease in the communities and instil fear among the people".

Gigaba sought to ensure the international community that South Africa was doing everything possible to stem the violence.

"To the countries that continue to invest in South Africa, we want to reassure them that South Africa is a constitutional democracy governed by the rule of law," Gigaba said.

"Investors are welcome to do business - everything is done to restore peace and order. Government will enforce the laws of the country to act speedily, decisively on any criminal activity committed by or against a foreign national or a citizen of South Africa."

Source - Dailysun

Tags: xenophobia, SA, Africa,

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