GOVERNMENT’S REACTION TO XENOPHOBIA ‘ANAEMIC’: SAIRR

ANC Daily News Briefing/Sapa, 28 March 2008

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Xenophobia is an on-going problem which government had addressed in an "anaemic sense", the SA Institute for Race Relations said on Friday. This comes after the recent xenophobic attacks in Brazzaville and other informal settlements west of Pretoria. The institute criticised minister of home affairs, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula's approach in finding a solution to xenophobia. This week, Mapisa-Nqakula had said the solution was for South Africans to adhere to the government's policy of integration. "It must be made clear that criminal activity will not be tolerated. Only then will discussions and indabas can be of any value," a researcher at the institution, Hannah Botsis, said in a statement. The Minister of Safety and Security also came under fire from the institute for failing in 2006 to reveal the number of Somalis who had been murdered, robbed and assaulted. "The starting block for this is good policing that cares about the fate of all people that are in South Africa, regardless of their country of origin," said Botsis. Religious organisations issued a joint statement on Friday saying that "the killing of foreign nationals in South Africa is a scourge that as churches we condemn". The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa, Transforming Tshwane, Tshwane Leadership Foundation and the Atteridgeville Minister Fraternal called on authorities to "provide a secure and safe environment for all".