JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa – whose recent inflammatory statement on migrants operating small-scale businesses in the country has been blamed for stocking the anti-migrants attacks in Durban, this week condemned the violence and called on law enforcement agencies to identify perpetrators and bring them to book.
He also welcomed Monday’s engagement by Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and Minister of Police Bheki Cele with the African diplomatic community in South Africa. The meeting was held in the offices of the DIRCO in Pretoria Monday morning.
“President Ramaphosa says there can be no justification for criminality and that if communities are disaffected for any reason, grievances must be raised with government and must be done within the confines of the law,” read a statement released by The Presidency Monday.
President Ramaphosa described as “regrettable” the recent violence against migrants in KwaZulu-Natal , especially coming on the eve of Freedom Month, with South Africa this year celebrating 25 years of freedom from Apartheid rule.
“As South Africans, we owe our freedom to the solidarity and support given to our liberation struggle by people across our Continent and around the world,” said Ramaphosa.
“Today, our economy and society benefits from our extensive trade and investment relations with partners on our continent and many of our continental compatriots live in South Africa where they are making important contributions to the development of our country.
“African development depends on the increased movement of people, goods and services between different countries for all of us to benefit. We will not allow criminals to set back these processes.”
During a recent campaign rally for the ANC, Ramaphosa made was has been viewed as an inflammatory and xenophobic statement when he publicly complained about migrants who established businesses in South Africa without proper registration documents.
“Everybody just arrives in our townships and rural areas and set up businesses without licences and permits, we are going to bring this to an end. And those who are operating illegally wherever they come from must now know…” Ramaphosa said.