Issued by the African National Congress, 23 October 2001

The ANC condemns in the strongest possible terms, the violent attacks on Zimbabwean citizens living at the Zandspruit informal settlement near Honeydew, outside Johannesburg.

These acts of xenophobia are as unforgivable as they are unacceptable in a civilised society, especially that the perpetrators are South Africans, who owe the freedom they are enjoying, to the support the African countries, including Zimbabwe, gave the South African freedom fighters during the struggle to bring about that freedom.

We understand that the South Africans were angry that one of the Zimbabweans had allegedly murdered a South African woman.

The anger was understandable, but there was no justification for resorting to criminal acts of violence.

And, to make things worse, they chose to target all Zimbabwean citizens, when only one of them was alleged to have committed a crime.

No group of people should be made to suffer just because a single individual among them has committed a crime.

And even the individual accused of committing such a crime should be reported to the police.

No person has the right to take the law into their own hands.

Mob justice is absolutely unacceptable.

We call upon the law enforcement agencies to ensure that no further acts of violence take place, and to do all in their power to bring those responsible for these criminal acts to book.

Issued by Smuts Ngonyama
Head of Presidency and Communication
54 Sauer Street
Johannesburg 2001
Contact Number: 082 569 2061