NATIONAL NEWS - International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor concedes SA has lapses in its security and immigration laws and vows the country will address the problem, and xenophobia.
Addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday, where she represented President Cyril Ramaphosa, Pandor said the incidents of violence and looting that erupted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal “were regrettable and shameful for a nation with such a proud history of struggle and international solidarity support”.
The SA government strongly condemned the xenophobic attacks and was working hard to address the security lapses and intolerance that led to it, she said.
“We are working tirelessly to tackle crime and lawlessness and to ensure that the arrested criminals face the full might of the law. We are also committed to addressing the inadequacy of our immigration administration to curb illegal migration and to make sure everyone who comes to South Africa is documented and safe,” Pandor said.
She said SA planned to work with all African countries to ensure they implemented development strategies and used them to create increased economic opportunities for all people “so that we diminish feelings of resentment and antipathy”.
“Working with civil society, we will build bridges that allow all who live in South Africa to reach out to each other to build bonds of friendship,” she said.
The gathering was chaired by Nigeria, one of the countries that were affected by the xenophobic attacks. Foreigner-owned shops were looted and some torched.
South Africa was condemned by many African countries for the violence and Ramaphosa was forced to send special envoys to apologise to some African states for the attacks, which claimed the lives of at least two foreign nationals and nine South Africans.
“We wish to reiterate that SA does not condone any forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances,” Pandor said.