The rights of citizens and non-citizens must be protected in SA, says Maimane

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said violence on foreign nationals won’t advance a united society.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane at Kleivlei, Cape Town, engaging with residents about the crime that has plagued the area. Picture:Our_DA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN – Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has condemned the latest spate of xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Maimane said violence on foreign nationals won’t advance a united society.

He was on the campaign trail in Blue Downs on Tuesday and said: “When I say our borders must be secured, it's because I want the rights of citizens and non-citizens to be protected in our country.”

At the same time, the African Diaspora Forum said it was concerned that government was glossing over xenophobia, while political parties were inflaming the situation with their campaigns.

Forum chairperson Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda was in Durban on Tuesday where he said more migrants were being displaced every day as the violence escalated instead of subsiding.

Reacting to a statement by the Department of International Relations, Sibanda said while South Africa was playing dangerous public relations, six Democratic Republic of Congo nationals were abducted over the past two days and more than 40 others fled to the Umlazi police station.

Earlier, International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu and Police Minister Bheki Cele committed to meeting again this week to deal with the attacks on foreign nationals.

The ministers met with the ambassadors of African countries in Pretoria on Monday to discuss last week's xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal.

Sisulu insisted that the attacks were not xenophobic but merely criminality.

She also assured the ambassadors' countries that South Africa would do everything possible to make sure that everyone is safe.

“We’ve been dealing with this matter with NGOs and the churches. It is not getting better in places but when we are joined by representatives of those countries, then we will be able to get to the bottom of this. This particular situation that we are in is not a criminal versus an innocent; we have situations where we are not able to draw the line [sic].”

Additional reporting by Mia Lindeque.