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Mapisa-Nqakula: Crime is crime, it doesn't matter who commits it

Members of the National Assembly on Tuesday debated the country's crisis of gender-based violence and the targeting of foreign nationals in recent violent incidents.

Several shops were looted and set alight in Malvern on 1 September 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of the National Assembly on Tuesday debated the country's crisis of gender-based violence and the targeting of foreign nationals in recent violent incidents.

MPs agreed that the country was facing a crisis, both in the violence against women and children as well as the spate of attacks and looting of foreign-owned shops.

While some MPs focused their debate on the scourge of gender-based violence gripping the country, others turned their attention mainly on the violent incidents affecting foreign nationals.

Defence and Military Veterans Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, who had earlier addressed a security cluster briefing on the unrest, told the National Assembly that most incidents were crime-related and not xenophobic.

"The majority of those who died during this period were, in fact, South African nationals thus debunking the myth that foreign nationals were specifically targeted. Of the 12 people who died, two were foreign nationals, 10 were South Africans. Crime is crime, it does not matter who commits it."

DA MP Chantel King called for greater political will in the fight against gender-based violence.

"There is no budget allocation to address gender-based violence in the Ministry of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities. We should put our money where our mouth is and have the political will to address the scourge of gender-based violence."

MPs, however, expressed their support for initiatives introduced by President Cyril Ramaphosa to prevent crimes against women and children.