PRESS STATEMENT
09/04/2015
For Immediate Release
City takes a stand to curb attacks on foreign nationals

The recent tragic and unacceptable attacks against foreign nationals in eThekwini Municipality will not be tolerated and those involved in these criminal acts of violence will face the full might of the law.

As previously stated, the Municipality unequivocally condemn attacks on foreign nations.

There can be no justification for this type of conduct in any community in our country, as recently stated by President Jacob Zuma.
Today, 09/04/2015, City Manager Sibusiso Sithole met with those representing foreign nationals in the City and various other stakeholders.

The purpose of the meeting was to formulate collective strategies to address the scourge of attacks on foreign nationals.
With regards to the anti-xenophobia march that took place in the City yesterday, 08/04/2015, where it is reported that violence broke out between foreign nationals, locals and the police, Sithole said the march was not allowed to take place because it was anticipated that foreign nationals would be attacked during the march.

“This is what prompted us not to allow the march to go ahead.A letter was sent to the march organisers citing our concerns. A permit was never issue for the march to take place. We apologise for inconvenience caused by the cancellation of the march but our concerns as the City were genuine,” said Sithole.

Sithole said it is not the policy of the Municipality to refuse people permission to march.

“Not allowing the march to proceed does not mean the City condones attacks on foreign nationals. We condemn it unequivocally. Violence can never be used to solve issues,” added Sithole. Sithole said the City’s primary objective is to protect and support foreign nationals in every way possible.

The provincial government together with the City is also planning a march with foreign nationals, religious groups, non-government organisations and civil society.

“Our priority is to reintegrate displaced foreign nationals back into their communities. A plan of action is in place because we don’t believe that housing people in tents is the solution. Everyone in the City has the right to employment and participate fully in society provided that they have relevant documentation from Home Affairs,” said Sithole.

Sithole said the march would form part of awareness campaigns and multi-lateral interventions to deal with tensions between locals and foreign nationals.

“We want the march to be inclusive, not a march by foreign nationals marching against government. We want the march to be led by our Premier, MEC’s, the Mayor, members of civil society and citizens of the country. We want to collectively voice our anger and repulsion,” said Sithole.

Sithole also urged police to do everything possible to apprehend those that attacked foreign nationals.

“We condemn this action perpetrated by a few among us. We want to see police arresting criminals who have committed these acts of violence. We can’t say wholeheartedly that what is happening is purely xenophobic attacks but this is rather criminal acts and the perpetrators will be brought to book,” said Sithole.

Sithole has urged foreign nationals to work with government and the city to form a coalition against xenophobia.

“This coalition will help fight the scourge of attacks on foreign national not for now only but for the future as well.”

The initiative has been supported by all foreign national organisations and stakeholders.

The date for the march will be announced once all logistics have been finalised.

ENDS

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information contact Gugu Mbonambi on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or email: princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za