The Democratic Alliance (DA) notes the outbreak of violence in White City, Soweto and calls on the community to show restraint and calm at this time.
As the details of the story are still developing, reports indicate that at least one person has been fatally shot during the ongoing violence.
The DA strongly condemns reports that foreign-owned shops are being looted. Any form of xenophobia is unacceptable and has no place in our diverse society.
We, therefore, call for calm to be restored and for the South African Police Service (SAPS) to act with restraint and manage the situation in a professional manner.
Now is not the time to add to the violence by using live ammunition or overreacting. This incident underscores the need for a functional Department of Home Affairs and the political will to deal with illegal immigration in our communities.
The failing ANC has created a Department of Home Affairs riddled with corruption and mismanagement which has caused the failure of the immigration system. The inefficiencies at the Department have resulted in a situation where there is distrust among some South Africans and foreign nationals.
People must know that those who live and work in our country are here legally. This ensures that big tension incidents like this are not exacerbated by a stand-off between South Africans and foreign nationals who have come into our country to live, work or seek asylum but this is not the case in many communities. Added to this, the SAPS’ inability to perform public order policing in a professional manner may lead to avoidable fatalities.
The DA will continue to monitor the developments in White City and hope that level heads prevail so that law and order is restored and there is no further loss of life.