Many foreigners were left homeless after their shacks were burnt down by angry protesters in Marabastad, Pretoria. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - The ongoing xenophobic attacks, looting and destruction of foreign-owned businesses in and around Gauteng has been attributed to concern about government’s lack of urgency in clamping down on drugs, prostitution and human trafficking rings in the province.

The violence has continued unabated in the province for the past two weeks and spilled over into the weekend. Political analyst Ralph Mathekga said that people were of the view that politicians were not showing a sense of urgency.

“South African politicians, across the political board, should have been much more forthright by condemning this thing way back. When they went into the elections, there was some dilly-dallying around this thing. 

“The South African government doesn’t say it’s xenophobic. They emphasise criminality and those are things that get people to blame the government for busy defining the problem instead of taking a strong position,” Mathekga said.

He said that the issue was an emotional one because it impacted people's lives directly and people were now looking for a sense of urgency from government but it was not forthcoming. 

Meanwhile the African Transformation Movement (ATM) has called the violent attacks on foreign nationals a manufactured means designed to drive a wedge between South Africans and its continental neighbours to deliberately isolate South Africa from other countries in Africa.

The party said that the attacks were simply distractions that were part of a veiled strategy to formally recolonise the country as there were video clips from outside the country or from South Africa depicting historic conflicts, as though they were happening currently, to further fuel the conflict. 

With the violence threatening to continue into this week Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane is set to brief the media on Tuesday on interventions to quell the ongoing violence against foreign nationals in Johannesburg.

“Maimane will be handing over a memorandum to the South African Police Service (SAPS) outlining a list of urgent demands that must be pursued if we are to see an end to the violence, looting, destruction of property and general lawlessness,” the DA said in a statement. 

Political Bureau