Govt warning to ‘criminal’ looters

28 May 2013

The South African government has warned the instigators of violence directed at African immigrants that they will face the full might of the law, following the swift arrest of around 100 people suspected to be involved in looting foreign-owned shops in townships in Gauteng province over the past few days.

“Government has noted with concern so-called xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in townships around the Vaal and Gauteng,” acting Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) CEO Phumla Williams said in a statement on Tuesday.

“These acts of violence are pure criminal activities, and those found guilty will face the full might of the law.

“We strongly condemn violence not only on foreign nationals but also on South Africans,” Williams said. “South Africa is a democratic country that accommodates foreign nationals that are in this country legally.

“We commend the swift action by the South African Police Service in apprehending about 100 people associated with the recent lawlessness.”

She said that in the spirit of Africa Month, the government called on all South Africans and foreign nationals to live in harmony.

“Criminal activities against each other will not be tolerated. Government will … do all in its power to ensure that any form of violence is rooted out, and citizens live without fear of being attacked by criminals.”

SAnews.gov.za and SAinfo reporter