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SA govt urged to deal decisively with xenophobia

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The African Diaspora Forum (ADF), a non profit organisation representing African migrant communities living in South Africa, says the South African government should develop an early warning system to counter xenophobia or any discrimination plan.

ADF’s Deputy Chairperson, Jean-Pierre A. Lukamba, was reacting to the recent violent attacks on foreigners in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg. Violence and looting in the area began on Sunday evening when a Somali man allegedly shot dead two Zimbabweans who had allegedly tried to rob him in his shop.

Lukamba says they are very concerned about what is going on in Diepsloot and they are on high alert. “Those attacks are a bad signal to Addis Ababa where Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma, is Chairing the AU Commission,”says Lukamba.

He says the SAPS, Department of Home Affairs, Community Safety, Justice, Correctional Service and Education should consider working in partnership with migrant community leaders to end the victimisation of African migrants in South Africa. “The government in Partnership with Migrants Community should embark on a robust education campaign for both community, Migrants and South Africa on their respective rights and responsibilities.”

Lukamba says government also should play a big role in educating South African on why migrants are leaving their country, what is their contribution to the South African Socio-economic development.

ADF says they are very concerned about what is going on in Diepsloot and they are on high alert.

He says media houses excluding the SABC are not playing their educational role in the matter. “Churches also have a big role to play if they are willing to do so,” he added.

He says that the fault also lies with the community leaders first and both communities, Migrants and South Africans. “They should live together as brothers and Sisters.”

“UNHCR should also review their mandate in South Africa in term of the protection of Refugees and other people who are under international protection and any Migrants with a special need or treatment,”adds Lukamba.

He says government should encourage the membership of migrants in local community activities, for example the Community Policing Forum.  Home Affairs was not immediately available to comment.

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