Former Cabinet Ministers Professor Jonathan Moyo and David Coltart have clashed over statements by South Africa’s Julius Malema condemning xenophobic attacks against Africans in the neighbouring country.
Malema had accused South African of inflicting xenophobic attacks on Africans but leaving Chinese and other whites who are illegally in South Africa.
Coltart said, “I applaud this with one reservation – Africans are not just black people. Africans are all those born in Africa and all who have come here to stay for the rest of their lives and who have passionately taken Africa into their hearts.”
The statements by Coltart were not taken lightly by Prof. Moyo who said the statement bordered around racism.
“What is your issue? Are you saying African whites are also being targeted by #Afrophobic violence in South Africa?” Prof. Moyo queried. “Or are you saying black people should not be referred to as Africans unless whites are also included in the reference? Something is not adding up in your narrative!”
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for law enforcement agents to identify and prosecute those involved in recent attacks on foreign nationals.
This followed reports this week of foreign nationals being targeted in sporadic outbreaks of violence in the Sydenham and Overport areas in KwaZulu-Natal last week.
Ramaphosa’s statment also comes a day after Pope Francis issued a passionate plea for host countries to treat immigrants with humanity.
Pope Francis used a visit to the north of the continent to plead against “theatres of violence, exploitation and abuse” of migrants and refugees.
In at least two cases, foreigners were forced to seek refuge at local police stations in Durban.