SA not a xenophobic country, says Ramaphosa during Parly Q&A session

But he said migration must follow legal prescripts.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivering his State of the Nation Address in Cape Town City Hall on 10 February 2022. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday afternoon told MPs in the National Assembly that South Africa is not xenophobic. The comment was made during a question-and-answer session.

The President added that migration must follow legal prescripts. Ramaphosa said many people enter South Africa legally, and have a right to do so - just as South Africans travel to other parts of the continent to trade, conduct business or invest.

“South Africa is quite welcoming, and we are saying that rule of law, legality has to be observed as it is the case in any other country around the world, but also specifically on our own continent. As we integrate our continent from a trade and investment point of view, we also recognise that there will be movement of people,” elaborated Ramaphosa.

The sitting has been marred by continuous interjections from the EFF, who want him to disregard the order of questions.

Party members earlier raised several issues that they wanted addressed first. Chief among those was the fact that Ramaphosa was not physically present in the house.

The EFF has called for the sitting to be postponed, until all MPs can meet in the same venue.

EFF members also wanted the house to first debate a report on an investigation into the forced removal of EFF MPs from the chamber, during the President's budget vote debate in June.

EFF leader Julius Malema said: “The way we are constituted is extremely wrong. There are no longer COVID-19 restrictions, postpone the sitting, arrange a proper venue and allow all of us to come under one roof”.

The president has apologised for participating virtually, saying he wanted to tend to his wife who's had a medical procedure, after the sitting.

EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu called for the president to immediately answer the question posed by the African Transformation Movement (ATM) about the alleged burglary at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala game farm.


Ramaphosa has defended Police Minister Bheki Cele's comments that some of the Kagiso mine dump rape victims were “lucky to only be raped once”.

The president said he did not doubt Cele's commitment to fighting crime, adding that this comment was lost in translation.

“I’d like to suggest that was clearly not his intention and that it had been lost in translation. But as far as his commitment, he was there soon after that incident happened and he was there amongst other leaders not only to care for the victims, but also to ensure that there is an investigation that has led to the arrest that has ensued,” said Cele.

Ramaphosa said government recognised how big a problem gender-based violence is. But he said changes to the law will ensure those responsible, face harsher sanction.

Answering questions in the National Assembly this afternoon, Ramaphosa said a second Presidential Summit on gender-based violence will be held later this year, to take stock of the interventions and their shortcomings.

He said gender-based violence was a societal challenge: “The issues of patriarchy, paying attention to the boys, and making sure to incorporate a sense - a consciousness of respect for women and the correct values of society in young people as they grow up”.

WATCH: President Cyril Ramaphosa answers questions in Parliament