Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs has commended the South African Government for its efforts in curbing xenophobic attacks that have affected foreigners, including Zimbabweans, living in the neighbouring country.
Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Edgar Mbwembwe told Parliament on Thursday that a number of initiatives had been undertaken to prevent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
“As Government, we are content with the precautionary measures taken by the Government of South Africa to curb the xenophobic attacks on foreign citizens and Zimbabweans in particular, living in South Africa.
“We are happy that the South African Government is being transparent. The South African President and his Home Affairs Minister spoke to African diplomats to the effect that they will take precautionary and firm steps towards curbing xenophobic attacks,” said Deputy Minister Mbwembwe.
He said South Africa had also set up an inter-ministerial committee on migration, which will look at ways and means of coming up with the measures of preventing attacks on Zimbabweans living in South Africa.
“So, we are content as a Ministry to note that the measures taken so far have gone far in curbing violence. We are also happy and continue to monitor the situation on the ground as a Ministry through our two consulates in Cape Town and Johannesburg, including our Embassy in Pretoria.
“They continue to update us on the developments concerning such violent acts and currently we have not received any report on such,” said Deputy Minister Mbwembwe.
South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba last month called for calm after a series of violent incidents against immigrants.
For two weeks, several buildings occupied by foreigners and suspected of housing brothels or drug trafficking were burnt down by angry residents in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
In 2015, seven people died in riots and looting of businesses run by foreigners in Johannesburg and in Durban.
South Africa suffered the most deadly wave of xenophobic violence in 2008 that left 62 people dead.