South Africa’s opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Julius Malema, pleaded with African countries to forgive his nation over the current spate of xenophobic violence directed against foreigners and their properties.
“Find it in your good hearts to forgive us. We are sorry. We are ashamed of ourselves, and we sincerely apologise for this madness,” Malema said during a media briefing at the party’s headquarters on Thursday, 5 September 2019.
He added that his red berets (EFF’s party colour) unapologetically sided with the victims.
He called on South Africans to stop their actions, cautioning that it was the only way for the rest of the continent to treat the country properly.
Various African countries have retaliated to the spate of attacks on their nationals, through demonstrations and boycotts against South African interests, and with high-profile personalities taking to social media to denounce the ongoing violence in the Rainbow Nation.
Some ten people — eight South Africans and two foreigners — have died in the violence which has seen several shops looted across some of Gauteng Province’s main cities and numerous suburbs, police said on Thursday.
“We are saying to our fellow African brothers and sisters: it’s not all of us who are attacking you. The majority of us know that we are not South Africans. But rather, we are Africans,” Malema said.
He added that there was nothing special about South Africa that should allow it to abuse other Africans just because they were in this country as workers.
Malema said, “white monopoly capital” and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) government of President Cyril Ramaphosa have to take full responsibility for the current outbreak of violence.