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SA is in a crisis, say MPs during debate on xenophobic attacks, GBV

The first MP to take to the podium was Inkatha Freedom Party’s former leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who made the initial call for the urgent debate.

FILE: Zulu hostel dwellers in Jeppestown cheer against Min Cele. They did not accept his conditions. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) who took part in an urgent debate of national importance in Parliament said South Africa was in a crisis.

The debate followed recent violent attacks and criminality targeting foreign nationals. It also came just a few hours after a justice and security cluster briefing on the recent violent incidents and gender-based violence (GBV) in the country.

Almost 700 people arrested during attacks on foreign nationals

The first MP to take to the podium was Inkatha Freedom Party’s former leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, who made the initial call for the urgent debate.

Buthelezi told the chamber that the violence against shop owners, including those owned by foreign nationals, was a violation of human rights.

“Honourable members, in the midst of crisis, leaders must act. We are now in a crisis and our nation grapples with the horror of gender-based violence and a new wave of xenophobic attacks have washed over SA.”

Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula in response said it was fitting that the debate took place after Women’s Month, when the attacks were widely reported in the media.

“Of course we did not conclude Women’s Month on a high note, having had several cases of femicide, gender-based violence, as well as incidents of general violence and criminality, including those affecting some foreign nationals.”

WATCH: MPs debate violence in SA

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