Heritage Day not a celebration for foreign nationals in SA

24 September 2018 - 17:08 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
South African flag. File photo
South African flag. File photo
Image: Gallo Images

The Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa has called for an end to xenophobic attacks and intolerance‚ so that asylum seekers‚ refugees and migrants can also celebrate their cultural diversity.

Thifulufheli Sinthumule‚ spokesperson for the consortium‚ said in a statement on Monday that there was‚ for many‚ little to celebrate on Heritage Day.

“How can the day be celebrated when there is deep hatred‚ intolerance and xenophobic attacks by South Africans against non-nationals - the already vulnerable groups of asylum seekers‚ refugees and migrants in the communities?” asked Sinthumule.

“This day aims to unite the South African communities regardless of nationality through cultural diversity in order to promote a peaceful and cohesive society‚ free from prejudice‚ hatred‚ xenophobia and intolerance.

“Attesting to the above‚ in the recent weeks we have witnessed deep hatred and xenophobic attacks on non-nationals and looting of foreign-owned shops in Soweto and other parts of the country by South Africans.

“This barbaric type of behaviour is fuelled by unverified allegations of fake and expired food. These very disturbing social ills resulted in the loss of lives and many non-nationals especially women and children being displaced from their homes and trading areas‚ as well as children missing school‚” said Sinthumule.

The consortium said it could not be acceptable for a democratic country to celebrate the day when people in the broader community were discriminated against and attacked based on their nationality.