National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Amos Masondo, appealed for calm amid the ongoing violence between local communities and foreign nationals in Johannesburg and its surrounding areas.
In a statement made available to APA on Tuesday, parliament said: “The presiding officers have appealed for calm amongst these communities, while urging our country’s law enforcement agencies to spare no effort in stopping the mayhem and restoring peace and stability.
“The law enforcement agencies must act with decisiveness and boldness in ensuring that any lawbreaker is brought to book regardless of nationality.”
The two presiding officers appealed to leaders from various sectors to assist in providing the necessary leadership in quelling the disorder, including “acting circumspectly in their public comments” – which some observers have blamed for the exacerbation of the violence.
“Much has been said about our country’s excessively porous borders and the influx of undocumented foreign nationals,” they said.
They however noted that “while South Africa continues to be a welcoming nation to foreign nationals, illegal immigrants make the state’s constitutional obligation -- which is to prevent, combat and investigate crime; maintain public order; and to protect and secure all those who live within its borders - difficult to fulfil.”
“Accordingly, relevant authorities and law enforcement agencies are urged to step up their efforts to curb this phenomenon and take appropriate steps regarding those living illegally in the country,” the presiding officers said in the statement, without naming the violent incidents as xenophobic attacks.