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‘Our humanity is at an all-time low’: Ronald Lamola weighs in on attacks on foreign nationals

Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola condemned attacks on foreign nationals. File photo.
Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola condemned attacks on foreign nationals. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola has condemned attacks and violence targeted at foreign nationals, saying they demonstrate the humanity of South Africans is at an all-time low. 

Lamola was speaking during a Human Rights Day event in North West on Monday under the theme “The year of unity and renewal: protecting and preserving our human rights gains”.

Lamola said targeting foreign nationals under the guise of putting South Africans first and opening job and economic opportunities for locals was not a fight against poverty but a fight against humanity.

“The recent and, to some extent, constant waves of violence that besiege our nation at different times and levels show us we are at war and, in the process, it is our collective actions as communities that derail and erode our fellow human beings’ human rights.

“The incidents of racism, lawlessness and attacks on black African foreign nationals and sometimes Asian foreign nationals show that, as a nation, our humanity is at an all-time low. Collectively we are not battling to end poverty. We are battling ourselves,” said Lamola.

He called on South Africans to uphold the human rights enshrined in the country’s democracy.

LISTEN | Human rights: Some humans are more equal than others in SA

He assured attendees government was on course with revitalising sustained and sustainable economic growth, employment creation and structural transformation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also condemned anti-immigrant sentiment, including Operation Dudula and the Dudula Movement

The president warned that protests could spiral into xenophobic attacks which could isolate SA from the rest of the continent. 

“Those who are setting up organisations such as Dudula, we say that is contravening the law. We cannot allow a situation where people embark on vigilantism to deal with a social problem.

“Let us work together. It is sensitive because this thing can soon turn into xenophobia and you know the continent can turn its back on us.”


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