The ACTION Support Centre joins civil society groups, concerned governments and Solidarity activists from across the continent and around the world in condemning the vicious, unacceptable and cowardly attacks on African nationals from across the continent living in Gauteng and across Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Our struggles against colonialism, apartheid, imperialism, neo-colonialism and new forms of socio-economic and political dispossessions of African people are and will always be interconnected. The African spirit of Ubuntu requires a collective responsibility to respect life, and appreciate our rich diversity. Xenophobic violence and attitudes threatens African unity and solidarity. Failing to acknowledge the deep interconnections between African struggles and the rest of world is to deny our history and the common humanity that binds us together.
The criminal elements that are taking advantage of the lawlessness and hooliganism to pursue looting, the settling of scores and the destruction of property are cowards and opportunists. We demand that those responsible for violence be brought before the courts and that the law impose the harshest possible sentences on the thugs and their puppet masters.
While clearly a long-term response is needed to drive a transformation process that deals with the underlying systemic and structural elements that contribute to enabling tensions and frustrations to boil over and become violent there is an even more pressing immediate need that requires urgent attention.
We must contain the violence immediately, we must hold those responsible for violence accountable, we must ensure the return of respect for life and the rule of law, and we must call to account leaders, including the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who have irresponsibly fanned the flames of anti-migrant sentiment and set our country alight.
The ACTION Support Centre will be working with its partners and members to contribute to a full response to the current attacks. Working with government, including the police and security forces, we will seek to ensure a full and swift response that ends violence now. Civil society actors, concerned citizens and solidarity activists must work together to ensure that all of those who live in South African are protected and made aware that for most of us the current wave of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Violent attacks and discrimination of one group against another, for whatever reason, is not part of the country we want to be living in. Those responsible for violence must be isolated. We will be working to develop a deeper awareness and appreciation of our history and of the critical importance of African unity and pan-African solidarity. This understanding is essential if we ever hope to realise our shared vision of a country and a continent in which we are all able to reach our full potential.
Forward with African Solidarity Forward!
For more information please contact:
Philani Ndebele, Campaigns Manager, ACTION Support Centre
firstname.lastname@example.org, +27 (0) 11 482 2453, +27 (0) 76 942 3565