President Cyril Ramaphosa says crime and not migrants is the common enemy that South Africans must work together to defeat. In his letter to the nation, the President focused on incidents of growing anti-foreigner sentiment in the country, specifically in Diepsloot township north of Johannesburg where seven people including a Zimbabwean national were recently killed.
President Ramaphosa has acknowledged that crime is a serious problem but says it cannot be defeated through incitement, violence, intimidation and vigilantism targeting African foreign nationals. He says attacks on people suspected of wrongdoing simply because they are foreign nationals are immoral, racist and criminal.
He says contrary to the claims of anti-immigration groups and individuals, the perpetrators of crime are both citizens and foreigners.
He has emphasised that controlling migration is the responsibility of the government urging communities to work with community policing forums which government is in the process of re-establishing.
He warns that if the rule of law is not observed the anger currently directed at foreign nationals will eventually be turned on each other.