The hatred of black foreigners and alleged third- force operations have hit most parts of Gauteng at the weekend like a powerful aftershock that plunged South Africa into a catastrophic xenophobic violence.
And the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) general secretary Silumko Nondwangu has called on the union’s local and regional structures to convene special meetings today (Monday) as xenophobic attacks on African immigrants in Alexandra, Diepsloot, Thokoza, Tembisa, Reiger Park and Johannesburg City Centre claimed 10 lives in the inferno of fire, hundreds injured and left thousands of foreigners destitute.
The senseless attacks on African aliens only has spread like wild fire from Khayelitsha and Gugulethu townships in Cape Town, to Port Elizabeth recently, Mamelodi in Tshwane and to Alexandra.
Yesterday, crowds of agitated mobs attacked Zimbabwean immigrants housed in the Central Methodist Church in the Johannesburg City centre, Cleveland, Malvern’s Jules Street foreigners’ thriving businesses and hit parts of the East Rand. And this raised fears of further deaths and injuries in the workplace and in trains as attacks spread to Noord Street Taxi rank.
Numsa welcome the government pronouncement on the planned commission of inquiry into the root causes of these reprehensible and shocking xenophobic attacks. Government, labour, civil society organisations and business should immediately get their act together if these wanton attacks and utter devastation of property were to be nipped in the bud.
The major outbreak of violence has shaken the country and Numsa is to launch a campaign to that effect to leducate metalworkers against the dangers of criminalizing illegal aliens and portraying other African immigrants as undesirable people.
Numsa rejects the notion that these attacks were the work of isolated criminals and that socioe-conomic realities and morally decadent business interests must be considered to be part of deep root causes among others.
The union has also taken the lead in the ANC campaign together with other progressive forces to stop crime and attacks on foreigners.s
For further information contact:
Mziwakhe Hlangani, Numsa national spokesperson
Cell phone: 082 9407116