To: President Matamela Cyril Ramphosa
Re: Request for your immediate political intervention on recent lootings, xenophobia and displacement of foreign nationals in the country.
I write on behalf of the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA). CoRMSA is a national network of twenty-five (25) organisations whose main objectives and mission are the promotion and protection of the human rights of asylum seekers, refugees and other international migrants in ways that promote the well-being of all in South Africa and the region. Our mandate is to promote and protect the rights of asylum seekers, refugees (persons of concern) and other international migrants in South Africa. This mandate is achieved by advocating for the rights of asylum seekers, refugees and international migrants through lobbying, litigation, capacity building, and strengthening partnerships between refugee and migrant service providers to facilitate an improved and coordinated service delivery among member organisations and partners.
We aim to foster social cohesion through public awareness campaigns and other strategies and facilitate the integration of asylum seekers, refugees, and international migrants into the South African society.
As CoRMSA, we are deeply concerned about the recent and recurring spate of xenophobia against foreign nationals and lootings of foreign owned shops. These have lead to the loss of lives, displacement of persons of concern, and significant socio-economic impacts related to property damage. These acts represent a fundamental violation of human rights and disrespect for basic human dignity. We are concerned that if such acts are not addressed, they will further deepen and victimise vulnerable groups such as asylum seekers, refugees and migrants living in South Africa.
In the aftermath of your successful appointment as the President of the Democratic Republic of South Africa, we look to you to lead this country to greater heights as a safe space for all, free from hatred, discrimination and related intolerance based on one’s nationality.
We are therefore writing to request your strong and immediate political intervention through the power vested on you as the President of the Democratic Republic of South Africa to publicly condemn these acts of violence, xenophobic attacks, and looting that are underway in Gauteng Province and other parts of the country. CoRMSA urges you to encourage the law enforcement agencies to restore law and order within our communities and to hold those involved in these acts accountable. We ask you to condemn and request all authorities and leaders to refrain from making unverified and unsubstantiated public statements and utterances that promote hatred and divisions amongst South African citizens and foreign nationals.
CoRMSA believes that social cohesion is not only for South African citizens but for all who live within the republic regardless of their nationality status. We request your office to activate stakeholder and community engagements to promote communities of peace and diversity. CORMSA stands ready to aid your office in this task.
Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further information or clarification on this matter. We believe that our request will receive the necessary attention and intervention it deserves from your office.
Thifulufheli Sinthumule (Mr). Executive Director