International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu warned about the consequences of xenophobic attacks that took place in recent weeks in Durban. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)
International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has warned South Africans that xenophobic acts of violence could lead to the country being dragged before the International Criminal Court to answer over its mistreatment of foreigners.

Sisulu, who is also a national executive committee member of the ANC, issued the warning as she was addressing members in Stanger during an election campaign. “If we are charged at the International Criminal Court I will have to respond on your behalf on why it is that we are behaving like this towards foreign nationals in our country,” she said.

Sisulu was reacting to recent incidents in Durban.

She said during a meeting with African diplomats to discuss the matter, she had to explain that locals were facing poverty and competing with foreigners for resources.

“I said there was bound to be tension when you are struggling for resources. “They (the ambassadors) in turn explained to me what their citizens were going through, and we agreed that we should plead with all our people that we should accommodate other people especially those who are legitimate in our country.”

She said the ambassadors pledged to tell their people that it was necessary to live by certain norms in the country.

“Therefore when they are in our country we want them to behave like one of us, and not different from ourselves. Therefore, I am hoping that we can put an end to these kind of attacks because they don't give us a good name at all”.

Sisulu also explained why South Africa had decided to downgrade its embassy in Israel.

She said the ANC had at its 2016 policy conference sounded a warning that if occupation did not stop the party would take decisive action against Israel.

“In December 2017 after nothing had happened the ANC did take decisive action by passing a resolution that was binding on all of us to ensure that we immediately downgrade our embassy in Israel.

“We are at a point now where a decision of the ANC is binding on all the ministers of the ANC,” said Sisulu.

She said the ANC was also concerned about corruption that was persisting despite laws in place to deal with it. “There are laws that protect the state from corrupt activities coming from people employed by the state, however we continue to have incidents of corruption.”

She said the integrity committee was working to deal with corrupt ANC members deployed in government. “The people who serve on that committee are people whose integrity we can vouch for.

“To our veterans, I would want to say the ANC needs you very, very much as the integrity that is vested in our veterans is slowly slipping away.

“We need you to come back to our meetings and guide our youth,” she said.

Political Bureau