Posted by: APO | 20 May 2008

Business Unity South Africa MEDIA STATEMENT: XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS

BUSA MEDIA STATEMENT: XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS

 

Business Unity South Africa (BUSA) has noted with disbelief extreme concern the current wave of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals. These attacks have done a lot of damage to the country’s moral stature, especially in so far as tolerance and inclusion are concerned.

 

As BUSA we condemn in the strongest possible terms these irrational attacks on foreign nationals. The physical attacks on foreign nationals and their business, coupled with the theft of property on foreign nationals cannot be justified under any circumstances. It is our considered view that these attacks should be treated as criminal offences, and the perpetrators treated as such.

 

BUSA furthermore calls on the different elements of the law enforcement agencies to double their efforts to ensure that calm is restored, and that the perpetrators are arrested. In particular, we urge the intelligence arm of the police to pro-actively gather “intelligence data” to ensure that the attacks that have been seen over the last few days are arrested before they occur. The prosecutorial arm of the criminal justice system should ensure that justice does take place with immediacy and with fairness.

 

We welcome the swift action that has been taken by the government to establish a Panel to investigate the root causes of the violence. BUSA believes that there may have been elements in our community who might have taken advantage of the genuine hardships faced by the South African people. However, no amount of economic hardship and discontent can ever justify criminal activity and bigotry that have characterised these attacks. While cognisant of the challenges regarding unfulfilled service delivery expectations rising cost of living in some parts of the country, we reject the view that these problems warrant these attacks on foreign nationals.

 

BUSA has noted the criticism that has been directed at sections of the business community, who allegedly employ foreign nationals over South Africans as a means of breaking labour legislation. Such incidents must be reported to the Department of Labour (DoL) who must ensure compliance with legislation. As BUSA we look forward to working with Department of Labour (DoL) to ensure compliance with the law by the all employers.

 

 

Mr Jerry Vilakazi

CEO: Business Unity South Africa


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