Attacks on foreigners unacceptable, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa finally breaks silence

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Updated: March 7, 2021

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa finally broke his silence on Tuesday on the third day since attacks on foreign nationals in his country exploded on Sunday with shops looted and vehicles set on fire.

Mr. Ramaphosa ordered police minister Bheki Cele to put a stop to xenophobic attacks in his country, saying they were unacceptable.

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“I condemn the violence that has been spreading around a number of our provinces in the strongest terms. I’m convening the ministers in the security cluster today to make sure that we keep a close eye on these acts of wanton violence and find ways of stopping them.

“The people of our country want to live in harmony; whatever concerns or grievances we may have, we need to handle them in a democratic way. There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries,” he tweeted.

He added: “I have directed the minister of police to have meetings at the hostels with indunas because this violence is mutating and taking different forms and represent themselves in a way which we do not want to see in South Africa”

The President’s belated reaction came after social media users on Tuesday made the #DearMrPresident hashtag trend, with many questioning Ramaphosa’s inaction and silence over the ongoing violence in the country.

Ramaphosa said the security agencies will meet to find ways to quell the violence.

“These attacks are completely against the rule of law and I would like to commend the police for stopping further violence,” he said.

Ramaphosa said there was no justification for these attacks, adding that “We are a country that is completely committed against xenophobia”.

Foreigners have been targeted in protests and violence across Gauteng with shops looted, buildings vandalized and vehicles set alight.

Ramaphosa described the attacks as “totally unacceptable” and said they should not be allowed.

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