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Parliament set for snap debate on xenophobia attacks

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise told the National Assembly’s programming committee that a number of parties wrote to her asking for an urgent debate on the matter.

Zulu hostel dwellers in Jeppestown gather before Bheki Cele arrives to address them on 3 September 2019. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Parliament is set to have a snap debate on the wave of violence targeting mainly African immigrants that has seen people attacking and looting shops in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The debate is likely to take place on Tuesday next week, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise has confirmed.

Modise told the National Assembly’s programming committee that a number of parties wrote to her asking for an urgent debate.

WATCH: Fake news: Here's all the videos that are not from the xenophobic attacks

The continuing violence has cast a shadow over South Africa’s efforts to present itself as an investment destination of choice at the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place in Cape Town, where hundreds of demonstrators protesting against gender-based violence clashed with police on Wednesday.

The IFP is among the parties who asked for an urgent debate. Chief Whip, Narend Singh said: “Yesterday, honourable Speaker, I wrote in as chief whip of the IFP to the office of the Speaker on a subject of national importance, that’s the question of violence and criminality in the country, including that affecting foreign nationals.”

Speaker Thandi Modise said a number of parties approached her with the same request.

“We have responded. Before I left the office, those letters were going to your offices and, yes, we’re looking at a snap debate next week Tuesday.”