You are fuelling xenophobia‚ SAHRC warns deputy police minister

You are fuelling xenophobia‚ SAHRC warns deputy police minister

Mkongi was quoted in the media last week saying: “How can a city in South Africa be 80% foreign national? That is dangerous. South Africans have surrendered their own city to the foreigners.”

These utterances have been described as xenophobic by the SAHRC.

“The SAHRC is of the view that statements such as this have the potential of fuelling anti-immigrant sentiments and is in fact xenophobic. South Africa is already grappling with the scourge of violent xenophobic attacks‚ often directed against fellow African non-nationals.

“As a figure of authority in the Department of Police — and by extension across society — the Deputy Minister is expected to exercise a great deal of circumspection in his public utterances. Not only are the statements factually incorrect‚ (in that he claims‚ without evidence to the effect‚ that ‘80% ‘of the city is occupied by foreign nationals)‚ they also unjustifiably ascribe crime to foreign nationals as an undifferentiated group‚” the commission said in a statement.

Mkongi was addressing concerns around crime and hijacked buildings in Johannesburg‚ Hillbrow in particular.

The commission said the Department of Police is expected to play a leading role in combating and preventing xenophobia as well as the effective detection thereof‚ and in crime prevention and law enforcement. Therefore‚ the deputy minister was expected not to utter inflammatory statements.

“Leaders are expected to constructively shape public debate and social cohesion through evidence-based statements. Repeating stereotypes does not advance the goals of upholding the fundamental rights of all in society‚” SAHRC said.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – FEBRUARY 22: A migrant from Zambia washing himself in a makeshift washroom at one of the derelict ‘hijacked’ building that houses African migrants, in Johannesburg’s Inner city. February 22, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thousands of African migrants are looking south, and arriving in Johannesburg, one of Africas most affluent cities. Many end up living in derelict buildings in Johannesburgs inner city, a place known for its high level of crime, poverty, and unemployment. The properties have been abandoned by their owners and are run by slum lords that collect rent from the poor migrant workers. In most cases there is no electricity or running water, leaving the residents to live in sub-humane conditions in a disease infested environment. It is estimated that South Africa has over 2 million illegal immigrants from other African countries. (Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage)

Owner of rundown hijacked building ravaged by fire had big plans to renovate it

Owner of rundown hijacked building ravaged by fire had big plans to renovate it

But I live here – it´s my whole life – I have nothing else. I have nowhere to go." James Aheid – shop owner in one of the hijacked buildings in Berea.

But I live here – it´s my whole life – I have nothing else. I have nowhere to go.” James Aheid – shop owner in one of the hijacked buildings in Berea.

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – AUGUST 2: Rubbish filled roof at one of the derelict ‘hijacked’ building that houses African migrants, in Johannesburg’s Inner city. The neglected building had several fires, and does not have running water and electricity. August 2, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Thousands of African migrants are looking south, and arriving in Johannesburg, one of Africas most affluent cities. Many end up living in derelict buildings in Johannesburgs inner city, a place known for its high level of crime, poverty, and unemployment. The properties have been abandoned by their owners and are run by slum lords that collect rent from the poor migrant workers. In most cases there is no electricity or running water, leaving the residents to live in sub-humane conditions in a disease infested environment. It is estimated that South Africa has over 2 million illegal immigrants from other African countries. (Photo by Jonathan Torgovnik/Getty Images Reportage)

Police and defence force soldiers check identity documents in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, an area mostly

Johannesburg EMS are pictured on the scene of the Cape York building

Johannesburg EMS are pictured on the scene of the Cape York building

A woman fills a plastic container with running water at the lobby of a squat in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. (John Wessels, AFP)

A woman fills a plastic container with running water at the lobby of a squat in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. (John Wessels, AFP)

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Adekunle Owolabi
Adekunle Owolabi 667 posts

Adekunle Owolabi studies democracy, human rights, public opinion, political behavior, civil rights and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries.

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