Rights group blasts SA deputy police minister for Xenophobic comments

Rights group blasts SA deputy police minister for Xenophobic comments

July 18 2017 –  SA Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi, who warned SA not to “surrender” the country to foreign nationals, in an interview with EWN last Friday has been slated by the SA Human Rights’ Commission (SAHRC) ( yesterday) saying the utterances have the potential to fuel anti-immigrant sentiments. In a statement, the SAHRC said Mkongi’s statements could possibly worsen the scourge of violent xenophobic attacks, often directed against fellow Africans, grappling SAf.

“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,”  reads the statement.

But Mkongi  insists he was not being xenophobic but was speaking the “truth” by alleging that 80% of Hillbrow in Johannesburg was occupied by foreign nationals who prohibited South Africans from living in the area.

This follows comments by his boss Police Minsiter Fikile Mbalula in April this year, that Zimbabwean former soldiers were behind crime in SA, attracting the ire of Zimbabwean ambassador to SA Isaac Moyo.

Says SAHRC: “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.”

Hillbrow is a notoriously crime-ridden area, which many Zimbabweans live in.  In February this, a three-year-old girl was the only survivor after a man shot and killed five people.

In May, a woman in her mid-20s was brutally stabbed to death by two men who wanted to steal her cell phone. – News 24/ additional reporting ZimsInSA.com