On Thursday, 12 September 2019, the African National Congress (ANC) met with leaders of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) at Luthuli House, in South Africa, over the recent/ and ongoing xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals.
The ANC delegation was led by the Deputy Secretary General, Cde Jessie Duarte. With the ADF team led by its Executive Committee Chairperson, Dr Abdul Karim Elgoni.
The ADF conveyed the concerns of its members and proposed solutions to a number of immigration-related challenges.
The ADF also expressed its condemnation of any violations of South African law and, in particular, attacks on law enforcement officials.
“The ANC reiterates its condemnation of any acts of violence and criminality directed against foreign nationals and South African citizens, and underscored the need to resolve grievances through engagement and dialogue,” said the ANC in a statement issued by Duarte its deputy secretary general.
The ANC also explained the concerns articulated by many South Africans and their desire to see the rule of law upheld, including on matters related to immigration and the conduct of business.
The ADF expressed appreciation for the principled stance taken by the ANC as well as the open and honest manner in which it explained these concerns.
The two parties emphasized the need to building a united Africa through the strengthening of political, social and economic ties between African countries, and agreed to continue engaging in dialogue and to explore partnerships.
The meeting took place on the eve of an intensive engagement by the ANC National Executive Committee with citizens and ANC structures in Gauteng on violence against women and foreign nationals from 13-15 September 2019.
Meanwhile, the South African government has been under fire for its failure to condemn and stop the attacks on foreign nationals. In response some other nationals in countries like Nigeria has retaliated by attacking South Africans living and working in Nigeria.
As if that was not enough, a South African cabinet minister recently called for South African companies to stop employing foreigners, a move that has been widely condemned, as tantamount to fuelling xenophobic attacks.
Analysts believe people of authority should not make reckless statements, and urged the government not to just condemn the attacks, but to all see to it that the law take its own course, by bringing perpetrators to book.
Recently, some countries reportedly refused to attend the World Economic Forum hosted by South Africa, citing the attacks on foreigners.