Zuma: No justification for xenophobic violence

The president says he has acknowledged concerns South Africans have raised in the wake of xenophobic attacks.

President Jacob Zuma briefing media on xenophobia and the migration policy and promote united action to deal with the challenges the country is facing on 22 April 2015. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma has acknowledged the concerns South Africans have raised in the wake of the recent wave of xenophobic unrest, but has stressed that there is no justification for the attacks.

The president held a meeting with more than 100 representatives from various sectors of society yesterday to discuss migration policy.

He said some concerns raised by South Africans about some foreigners include crime, unfair business practices, drugs and the influx of illegal immigrants.

But he said the meeting was called to listen to the concerns and develop solutions.

"We have condemned that, all of us, and I think many sectors have condemned the violence that has been carried out on foreign nationals. We thought it was important to come together and discuss this matter."

LISTEN: Clinical Psychologist Thabang Tlaka speaks on the psychological & emotional effects of xenophobia on foreign nationals & their children.

Zuma said he is concerned by the way xenophobic unrest has spread across provinces, but is confident current efforts will bring an end to the violence.

He suggested that unlike the xenophobic violence of 2008, this wave of unrest appeared organised.

"This one moved in a manner that looked like it was being manipulated or organised in a particular way."

The president added that issues related to immigration legislation were also discussed.

Representatives from religious and civic organisations, as well as business and labour have all committed to helping government address the root cause of the violence.

LISTEN: Professor Jonthan Jansen believes xenophobic violence does not reflect the mindset of all South Africans.