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Govt warned against inciting xenophobia

A coalition of organisations has warned government leaders and politicians to refrain from making statements which could incite xenophobia.

FILE: Some shops owned by foreigners were looted and roads blocked during protests in Atteridgeville.  Picture: Twitter @EWNTraffic.

CAPE TOWN - A coalition of organisations has warned government leaders and politicians to refrain from making statements which could incite xenophobia.

The organisations, including Sonke Gender Justice and refugee organisation UniFam, marched to Parliament on Saturday demanding that government protect foreigners.

The protest comes a week after xenophobic violence broke out in Tshwane where foreigners were attacked.

Among their demands, was that Home Affairs officials treat refugees and immigrants with respect and process their applications fairly.

Protester Lumumba Chia says some people are using immigrants as scapegoats.

“There is enough in this continent for all of us. You can’t say these people came here to take your jobs or wives.”

Western Cape leadership for refugees chairperson Jean-Pierre Balous says South Africans can coexist with immigrants.

“We need to be tolerant towards one another. Many people have been pushed away from their countries and some are not here by choice.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)