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South Africa dates diplomats over xenophobic attacks

By Ezelina Kamaliza & Peter Kanjere:

South Africa (SA) International Relations Minister, Naledi Pandor, was expected to host ambassadors and high commissioners from Southern African Development Community (Sadc) member countries Monday to discuss ways of ending xenophobic attacks on African immigrants in that country.

South Africa’s Sowetan newspaper reports that Pandor also hosted diplomats from other countries such as Nigeria which has been the most vocal against xenophobic attacks in SA, with mobs in that country attacking South African businesses such as MTN and Multichoice.

The Daily Times was unable to establish if Malawi acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Gloria Bamusi, was among the diplomats which Pandor hosted.

Last week, Bamusi said no Malawian had reported of an attack in South Africa but the situation was tense; hence, advised those wishing to travel to the country to suspend such trips.

Road Transport Operators Association of Malawi Executive Director, Chrissie Flao, Monday said they had not received reports of truck drivers being attacked in South Africa.

In a related development, World Students Christian Federation (WSCF), whose African Chapter chairperson is Malawian, has condemned the attacks through a letter addressed to Sadc Chairperson John Magufuli, who is also Tanzania President.

In the letter, WSCF Africa Executive, Christopher Chimangeni, says they were disappointed with the lack of action from bodies such as Sadc, African Union (AU) and the United Nations since the attacks started a decade ago.

“Our leaders in Sadc, let alone AU have not issued any condemnation whatsoever which smacks a lot of hypocrisy and lack of unity promotion which the different blocs advocate and stand for. Such silence is very wanting and leaves a lot to be desired” Chimangeni says.

WSCF wants the international bodies to intervene by calling for an emergency Heads of State summit to make resolutions on how to protect and compensate people that have been affected by xenophobia and put in place a free trade and people policy within the region.

Some South Africans are attacking foreigners accusing them of drug trafficking and snatching jobs. Several people have been killed and property destroyed.

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