Media release

Inter-Governmental Committee on Migration calls on foreign nationals to work with law enforcement agencies

04 September 2017

4 September 2017

The Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) on Migration has noted with concern developments since Friday pertaining to reports of  a developing narrative perpetuated by the Somali Community Board of South Africa that suggests that foreign nationals in South Africa, and in particular Somalians, are being killed every second day in Cape Town. The IGC finds this discourse disturbing and unacceptable as such claims can fuel tensions amongst communities and could have unintended consequences.

Chairperson of the IGC, Minister in The Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Jeff Radebe said: “The discourse of Somalian isolation to crime is incorrect – in fact crime affects everyone irrespective of nationality or race. This type of isolation may foster strong identification within a community but relatively conflictual relations with other groups.

Government is also concerned that there have been reports of Somalians arming themselves in an attempt to protect themselves and their properties. Government warns all living within the border of South Africa that firearm owners have to be legally licensed and follow the protocols as required by law to obtain a firearm.”

South Africa is a country that is governed by the application of the rule of law which applies to all people equally. “Government calls on Somalians and their respective structures in the country to work with South Africa’s established law enforcement agencies to fight crime instead of addressing it through their networks.

Crime is a challenge that can only be solved through collaborative efforts with law enforcement agencies,” added Radebe. Through the IGC, Government continues to tirelessly work to avoid any possible clashes between foreign nationals and the local communities. 

Therefore, the Minister added that, “we should avoid any kind of activities which could trigger undesirable attacks of other nationalities”.  In this regard, government discourages an attempt by the Somali nationals to cause divisions among community members. The IGC has also noted a media report that the Nigerian Union in South Africa has alleged the police tortured a Nigerian national to death. 

“The allegation of torture and murder by the South African Police Services is viewed in series light by the IGC.  Our country has institutions such as the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) that investigates any allegations of crimes committed by the police. We call on the Nigerian Union in South Africa to report this matter urgently to the IPID.  South Africa is a caring country that cares for all who live in it, including those who visit its shores,” said Minister Radebe.

Phumla Williams
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System

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