Parliament's xenophobic inquiry creaks into gear

The committee's job is to look at the cause of the violence and make the recommendations.

FILE: Thousands of people took part in the anti-xenophobia march, calling for end to attacks on foreign nationals in Johannesburg on 23 April 2015. Picture: Emily Corke/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - A month after the decision to launch a Parliamentary inquiry into attacks on foreign nationals is finally creaking into gear.

Co-chairpersons of the committee were elected when it met for the first time on Thursday since the violence in April that saw seven people die, property looted and thousands of people displaced.

The attacks unleashed a police and military crackdown entitled Operation Fiela.

The committee's job is to look at the cause of the violence and the recommendations of an earlier committee formed to probe the reasons for the outbreak of more deadly attacks in 2008.

The committee has an August deadline, but newly appointed co-chair Ruth Bhengu says the committee may need more time.

"It will be difficult at this moment for us to say whether that time frame is enough for us to do the kind of work we're expected to do."

It's a joint committee of both houses of Parliament.

Bhengu says she will be meeting with co-chair Tekoetsile Matshaluping to work out a programme before the committee meets again next week.