Former South African president Thabo Mbeki has come out to condemn in strong terms the hate crimes perpetrated against Nigerians and other immigrants in South Africa.
He says none of he country’s prevailing problems can be solved by killing or looting people’s property. Read his full mind:
“I must express my grave concern at events which took place in this city last week, in the context of what was reported as an anti-immigrant march. In that context, I want to say ‘thank you’ to Ringo Madlingozi for what he said in the songs he rendered,” Mbeki said.
“As South Africans, we should never forget the enormous sacrifices that were made by the sister people of Africa to help us achieve our liberation. We cannot now behave in a manner that treats fellow Africans, who are now residents in our country, as enemies or unwelcome guests, neither should we commit the offence of viewing or characterising African migrants in our country as criminals.”
“When our communities discover or suspect criminal activities in their areas, regardless of the nationality of the alleged criminals, it must be reported to the [South African] Police Service. The police service itself has an absolute obligation to follow up on these community reports to avoid people taking the law into their own hands,” said Mbeki.
“All of us know that our country faces many socioeconomic challenges such as poverty and unemployment. Not even one of these problems can or will be solved by attacking fellow Africans who have joined us as migrants. Those who organise and participate in these attacks, which must stop, must know that there is absolutely nothing revolutionary, progressive, patriotic, acceptable or of service to the people in what are, in fact, criminal activities.”