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27 Apr 2015 15:27
President Jacob Zuma addresses the crowd on Freedom Day at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Monday. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)
President Jacob Zuma used his Freedom Day address on Monday to take a firm stance on xenophobic
violence that has gripped the country, lashing out at governments who “criticise the South African government but their citizens are in our
the public on the Union Buildings South Lawn, Zuma chastised governments who
have criticised the South African government for the violence that has claimed
as we have a problem that is alleged to be xenophobic, our sister countries
contribute to this. Why are their citizens not in their countries and are in
South Africa?” he asked.
comes in the wake of Nigeria recalling its ambassador to South Africa in
protest at the xenophobic violence.
has summoned Acting High Commissioner Martin Cobham and Deputy High
Commissioner Uche Ajulu-Okeke “for consultations” over the
“ongoing xenophobia”, Minister of Foreign Affairs Aminu Wali said in
a statement on Saturday.
Zuma said a frank conversation on illegal immigrants needed to take place within the Southern African Development
Community as well as the African Union.
mentioned the murder of Mozambican citizen Manuel Jossias—first
identified as Emmanuel Sithole—in the Alexandra township.
a false name to avoid detection by authorities as he was an illegal immigrant,”
Zuma paid tribute to the three South Africans who were killed in
the attacks in Durban: Ayanda Dlamini, Msawenkosi Dlamini and Thabo Mzobe, who was 14 years old.
He said South Africans were angry, adding; “We need to be
cured, we are sick”.
latest outbreak of violence necessitates more comprehensive action from all of
us to ensure that there is no recurrence.
We have to address the underlying
causes of the violence and tensions, which is the legacy of poverty,
unemployment and inequality in our country and our continent and the
competition for limited resources,” Zuma said.
South Africans need psychological cure
He also spoke
at length of how violent South African communities are, adding that “we need a psychological
was a violent system and it produced violent countermeasures to it.
excited. They burn the tyres; they block the roads; they destroy property; exercising their rights but interfering with the rights of many.”
Zuma then lashed out at the Economic Freedom Fighters and their trademark
militancy in Parliament.
the institution that is said to be the apex of democracy, Parliament. Look at
the politicians whom you have voted for, how angry they are. How defiant they
are, even in Parliament,” he said to thunderous applause.
Zuma said Parliament and the office of the Speaker should be respected.
taking exception to the behaviour of EFF Members of Parliament who often
disobey the orders of the Speaker in the national assembly.
“If the Speaker says ‘Out of my house’, you must get out. But what do some of the members
of Parliament do when the Speaker says ‘Sit down’, they say ‘Speaker, I want to
address you’. They will continue addressing the speaker. If the speaker says
‘Withdraw’ they say ‘I won’t withdraw’. If the speaker says ‘Out’ they say ‘I
won’t go out’,” Zuma told the crowd.
He said this was a glaring example of what he called the “violent
culture of apartheid”.
“Imagine if politicians are so angry then who
will rule the country.”
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