A senior African National Congress (ANC) official has said the South African government cannot guarantee the safety of foreign nationals anymore.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe (pictured) made the remarks last week alleging that undocumented foreign nationals were to blame for various crimes in SA.
Mabe was addressing ANC members who were picketing at a police station in protest over increased crime allegedly committed by foreign nationals illegally residing in the country.
The chairperson of the Zimbabwe Community in SA, Ngqabutho Mabhena criticised Mabe for his utterances saying such comments may incite xenophobic attacks. He said:
The constitution of South Africa guarantees the safety of any foreigner in the country and Mabe’s statement is just unfortunate.
The constitution is very clear on how those who are not documented should be treated.
As a spokesperson of the ruling party, Mabe should have realised the impact of his utterances although we believe that he said this out of excitement and not from the ANC point of view.
On 6 April this year, a Zimbabwean, Elvis Nyathi was brutally assaulted and set on fire by a mob in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg for not having a passport.
Critics say the ANC’s tough rhetoric against illegal immigrants, particularly Zimbabweans, has to do with the party’s election campaign following the rise of far-right fringe political parties and movements.