Government will not tolerate any violence for any reason against foreign nationals resident in South Africa. That’s the word from Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa.
His spokesman says the police are aware that media and civil society organisations have over the last few weeks expressed concern about rumours that foreign nationals living in South Africa face a threat of xenophobic violence after the end of the FIFA soccer World Cup tournament.
According to these rumours, residents in certain parts of the country, with a concentration of foreign nationals, are providing a range of reasons why foreign nationals may be targeted. Mthethwa, who chairs the recently-established Inter-Ministerial Committee on Xenophobia strongly rejects any claim that may seek to justify violence against foreign nationals. “We will not tolerate any threat or act of violence against any individual or sector of society, no matter what reasons are given to justify such threats or actions,” he says.
“Government is closely monitoring these xenophobic threats by faceless criminals whose desire is to create anarchy. We want to assure society that our police are on the ground to thwart these evil acts,” he adds.
Mthethwa adds the intelligence arm of the police, supported by various community structures has been hard at work investigating these allegations across the country. “We have over the last year emphasised the important role that crime intelligence needs to play in the fight against crime and the need to rejuvenate our crime intelligence to service all aspects of policing. This way police are able to thwart any form of criminality before it happens.”
The minister again sought to assure that police will continue dealing a deadly blow to criminals after the soccer spectacular. “Security agencies are on high alert to ensure that threats and manifestations of violence against any individual or group are effectively addressed. In the spirit of working together, government therefore calls on organisations and individuals who have information regarding threats of xenophobic violence to present this information to the police.”
He emphasised that police alone cannot win the fight against crime. “Criminals do not live in isolation from communities. That is why we need to deepen our partnership with communities. We took a decision of fighting crime and fighting it toughly and smartly by utilising all resources and capabilities at our disposal and the results are there for everyone to see,” added Mthethwa.