Xenophobic violence: Herman Mashaba says “there is no need to apologize”
Herman Mashaba’s take on the xenophobic violence that has gripped Gauteng is certainly less diplomatic than what we’ve seen from elsewhere.
Mayor Herman Mashaba may be kicking a hornet’s nest on this issue. The DA representative is known for his hardline stance on immigration, and during an interview with CNBC Africa on Tuesday evening, he refused to compromise his principles after a wave of xenophobic violence-hit South Africa.
Xenophobic violence in South Africa
A total of 12 people have been killed in multiple protests across Gauteng. Ten of the victims were actually South Africans. The lunacy of the demonstrations has been widely condemned in all political circles, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to issue an apology to our continental friends.
The likes of Nigeria, Zambia and DR Congo have hosted their own protests fuelled by anti-South African sentiment. SA embassies have been vandalized in foreign countries, and overseas branches of Mr Price and Shoprite have been targeted in “revenge attacks”. The old Cyril charm has been in full swing this week, as he looks to quell the tensions.
Herman Mashaba talks tough on recent violence
But if Ramaphosa is looking to dampen the flames, Herman Mashaba’s brazen stance may add more fuel to the fire. He told the interviewer that an apology to our diplomatic neighbors ‘was not necessary’. Instead, he implored the president to focus on matters closer to home.
Mayor Mashaba insisted that the 10 million unemployed citizens of South Africa and the girls who end up getting se_x-trafficked should be first in line for an apology:
“There is nothing to apologize for. We have a responsibility to get the president and Home Affairs to do something [about immigration]. What would anyone want me to apologize for? … The country owes an official apology to thousands, if not millions of our young girls who are turned into forced prostitution by international drug syndicates.”
“We are not going to turn a blind eye on such evil crime happening under our watch. The country also owes an official apology to the 10.2 million unemployed South Africans who are today without jobs as a result of billions of counterfeit goods being brought illegally into the country, killing local manufacturing.”
Watch Herman Mashaba talk about Xenophobic attacks here
It’s still early days, but the fallout from Herman Mashaba’s unflinching take on the situation could upset the applecart of peace. Never one for mincing his words, the Mayor continues to stick to his guns on this topic:
While President Cyril Ramaphosa is apologising for the recent xenophobic attacks in SA, mayor of Johannesburg @HermanMashaba says he's got nothing to apologise for. Tune in on #PoliticalCapital tonight at 18:30 CAT on #CNBCAfrica DStv 410 or here >> https://t.co/UGlvJiCZ98 pic.twitter.com/XbnR9cgADj
— CNBC Africa (@cnbcafrica) September 17, 2019
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