AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - Xenophobic attacks: for the Bishops "No grievance justifies the violence against foreign nationals"

Monday, 27 February 2017

Pretoria (Agenzia Fides) - "No grievance justifies the violence against foreign nationals" said His Exc. Mgr. Abel Gabuza, Bishop of Kimberly and President of the Bishops' Commission for Justice and Peace" of the South African Catholic Bishop's Conference (SACBC) on the eve of the march against the foreign presence in South Africa, which was held in Pretoria on 24 February. Mgr. Gabuza had appealed to protesters for "calm and restraint", but unfortunately there have been attacks against businesses run by migrants and clashes with the police who arrested more than 130 people.
Regular migrants or not in compliance with the permit of stay are accused by a population exasperated by rampant crime and high unemployment, of fomenting crime and of removing jobs to South Africans.
"We cannot stress it enough that, even in cases of extreme dissatisfaction with the law enforcement and alleged criminal elements perpetrated by some of foreign nationals, community members should not take the law into their hands", said Mgr. Gabuza.
The Bishop asked the organizations of the African diaspora to collaborate with the police to identify criminal elements present among migrants, especially those who are involved in drug dealing and prostitution, and called on the government to strengthen border controls . (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 27/02/2017)