South African President, Jacob Zuma has on Monday hit out at other African countries, following the severe condemnation of South Africa over the wave of anti-foreigner attacks in the country.
In spite of the fact that he condemned the violence, he also revealed that immigrants contributed to the South African economy, questioning why so many had flocked to South Africa.
“As much as we can have a problem alleged to be xenophobic, our brother countries contributed to this,” he said.
“Why are the citizens not in their countries?”
Zuma continued on a counterblast, saying his government would strengthen measures to tackle illegal immigration.
“Some of them (immigrants) had very serious allegations against their own countries to explain why they are in South Africa,” Zuma said, speaking on Freedom Day that marks the country’s first democratic elections in 1994.
“In fact, some of them warned us that there is almost certainly another wave of refugees coming given the developments in their own countries.
“We have to address the underlying causes of the violence and tensions, which is the legacy of poverty, unemployment and inequality in our country and our continent and the competition for limited resources,” Zuma said.
If we recall, in April, mobs in Johannesburg and in the port city of Durban targeted migrants, ransacking their homes and burning shops. Seven people were reported dead and thousands were displaced.
South Africa faced a backlash over the attacks and regional relations have been strained, with Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique organising for some of their fearful citizens to return home.
Nigeria has also recalled its ambassador in Pretoria over the attacks while there have been widespread calls for South African products to be boycotted.