President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday condemned violence against foreign nationals and called on law enforcement agencies and law-abiding citizens to identify perpetrators and help bring them to book.

"As South Africans, we owe our freedom to the solidarity and support given to our liberation struggle by people across our Continent and around the world.

"Today, our economy and society benefits from our extensive trade and investment relations with partners on our continent and many of our continental compatriots live in South Africa where they are making important contributions to the development of our country.

"African development depends on the increased movement of people, goods and services between different countries for all of us to benefit. We will not allow criminals to set back these processes," said Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa welcomed engagements between Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Lindiwe Sisulu and Minister of Police Bheki Cele, and the African diplomatic community in South Africa.

The meeting that will be held on Monday has been convened to discuss the current spate of violence against foreign nationals and their properties.

The president said there can be no justification for criminality and that if communities were disaffected for any reason, grievances must be raised with government and must be done within the confines of the law.

He said the recent violence against Malawian and other nationals in KwaZulu-Natal was particularly regrettable on the eve of Freedom Month which in 2019 celebrates 25 years since the advent of democracy in South Africa.

African News Agency/ANA