Was Ramaphosa’s warning to illegal businesses misunderstood? – VIDEO
Did South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s supporters misunderstand his remarks on January 12, 2019 during ANC’s manifesto launch and gone ahead to savagely attack fellow Africans?
This is the unanswered question following the latest wave of xenophobic attacks that have hit the country in the last few days.
During that speech Ramaphosa had vowed to crackdown on businesses operating illegally in townships and rural areas.
“We are going to bring this to an end and those who are operating illegally, wherever they come from must now know,” Ramaphosa had told his supporters.
Since Monday, some native South Africans have been targeting foreigners who they are accusing of taking their jobs and being behind the country’s high rate of unemployment and poverty.
Your message will ignite #xenophobia sentiments Mr. President #CyrilRamaphosa. This is NOT the right message, Mr. President. This is not good leadership. It is not good for the future of our continent! #African leaders must address African issues in a constructive manner! pic.twitter.com/3SBhDmToXJ
— Prof. Adriano Nuvunga (@adriano_nuvunga) March 29, 2019
Police in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal confirmed incidents of attacks by dozens of people which started on Sunday night targeting foreign-owned shops.
On Tuesday last week, police spokesman Thulani Zwane said, a group of protesters “were forcing the foreign nationals out of their homes. No one was injured or assaulted”.
This is the first time this year that such attacks are being reported in one of Africa’s most developed nations.
In the past during such incidents, foreigners have been killed with their business and properties looted and burnt down.
In May 2008, a series of xenophobic attacks left 62 people dead, although 21 of those killed were South African citizens.
In 2015, another nationwide spike in xenophobic attacks against immigrants, in general, prompted a number of foreign governments to begin repatriating their citizens.