Members of the Gallery,
Comrades and Friends.
Hon. Speaker, South Africa has received a great deal of criticism from our neighboring countries without proper analysis of the current Xenophobic situation we are facing. The reality is that there are a substantial amount of illegal immigrants in South Africa that has resulted in placing constraints on our ability to provide service delivery. The Hon. President Jacob Zuma posed a very relevant question at the Freedom Day celebration this year “Why are their citizens not in their countries and are in South Africa?” .
Hon. Members, South Africa is seen as one of the leading countries in the World that promote and uphold Human Rights. Which is evident as we have numerous documents such as the Freedom Charter, Bill of Rights, and our international contributions? We have always welcomed foreign nationals with open arms. This dilemma of xenophobic attacks is not an ANC government problem, nor just a South African problem, but rather an African problem that we need to address head on. Therefore, Hon. Members, I welcome the suggestion made by the Hon. President that “a frank conversation on illegal immigrants needed to take place within the Southern African Development Community as well as the African Union”.
Allow me Hon. Members to pay tribute to Manuel Jossias who was murdered, a Mozambican citizen who was first identified as Emmanuel Sithole in the Alexandra township. Although he was an illegal immigrant, the ANC government does not condone his death. All lost of life affects us all. I would also like to pay tribute to the three South Africans who were killed in the attacks in Durban: Ayanda Dlamini, Msawenkosi Dlamini and Thabo Mzobe, who was only 14 years old and had his entire life still ahead of him.
The South African government and Free State government has made considerable efforts to encourage the community to campaign against Xenophobia attacks. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Free State Government under the leadership of Hon. Ace Magashule and the Department of Sports, Arts, and Culture under the MEC Mathabo Leeto for leading a prayer service in Welkom against Xenophobia last week on the 29 April 2015.
Hon. Speaker, it is during these hard-hitting times that we need to unite as the leaders of the Free State and South Africa to encourage unity in our communities. The ANC led-government will continue to lead by example by promoting and upholding Human Rights for all who reside in our borders.