#UniteBehind and supporters condemn xenophobia and violent xenophobic attacks
We are a group of civil society organisations and individual South Africans, migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers committed to human rights, justice and equality. Our struggle is for a just and equal South Africa – a democracy in which all people participate in decisions affecting their lives. We believe the South Africa Government must be open, accountable, ethical and effective. They must put the needs of all people first.
We believe the solutions to countering xenophobia exist in truly understanding its roots, and building a better, safer and more just South Africa for all those that live within its borders.
We are deeply saddened by the recent outbreaks of xenophobic violence in South Africa. We mourn the loss of its victims – both South Africans and migrants – and the destruction of properties and the fear instilled in the hearts of thousands.
We note the circulation of destructive social media messages supporting and amplifying xenophobia, drawing on hate speech and calling for more hate crimes. We condemn these in the strongest possible terms.
We pledge our solidarity with migrant-lead groups such as the People’s Coalition Against Xenophobia and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CORMSA). We reiterate their calls for South Africa’s political leadership to:
- Address unemployment, crime, poverty, governance and all factors fuelling xenophobia.
- Recognise xenophobia as a systemic problem in South Africa and strongly condemn it.
- Provide clear and deliverable action points and a funding strategy to ensure the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerances.
- Prosecute and hold accountable leaders and people who make inflammatory statements, incitement and criminal conduct relating to migration.
- Provide places of safety for all those affected by xenophobic and gender based violence.
We call on all people living in South Africa to
- Speak out in the strongest possible terms against xenophobia, hate speech and hate crimes
- To report xenophobic incidents to authorities and to Xenowatch (Xenowatch contact details are copied below)
- Carefully Factcheck all social media messages and images relating to xenophobia and carefully consider whether it would be useful to forward on.
- Advocate for the speedy finalisation and promulgation of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill
Reports of past, current or potential xenophobic incidents can be sent through four methods. All reports should include the location, time, and description of the incident:
- FREE SMS to 44705
- E-mail to email@example.com
- Web: www.xenowatch.ac.za
- WhatsApp/Call: +27 (0) 60 794 9882
For information on the platform or to contribute to its success, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
See AfricaCheck guidelines here:
For comment contact Deena Bosch on 083 302 2029 or Marlise Richter on 082 858 9927.