Botswana National Front Youth League on Monday condemned South African government for the loss of lives and injuries sustained by a number of African Nationals living in South Africa at the hands of some ‘intolerant’ and ‘criminal minded’ South Africans.
Addressing the Media, BNFYL youth league secretary general Arafat Khan said the youth movement is saddened by the recent attacks perpetuated by South African citizens against fellow Africans living in South Africa.
“The violence that is targeting foreign nationals, especially from other African countries is an indictment on the whole of Africa. The loss of lives and injuries suffered by our brothers and sisters from other African countries at the hands of some intolerant and criminal minded South Africans is totally unjustifiable under any circumstance and must be condemned by all”. ┬á
The youth movement says the current xenophobic attacks in South Africa have shattered the rainbow nation’s dream formulated by South African liberation icons such as Nelson Mandela.
“Having attained independence in 1994, and given its strong economic and political standing in the continent, the repeated xenophobic attacks that are taking place in South Africa shows conclusively that South Africa is not ready to provide the much needed leadership on the continent with its current leadership.”
BNFYL further stated that the African Union structures must carry out proper investigations on the human rights violations that have taken place in South Africa and establish whether the South African government has done enough to prevent these attacks or not.
“We are aware of media reports in that country that have singled out some disturbing comments attributed to the Zulu King that called for foreign nationals in that country to leave. We expected that the South African government would condemn those statements attributed to the king, but we are disappointed that the South African president, who is the king’s subject, has failed to do so in his recent address to the South African government.”
The youth league said they condemn the South African government with no fear or favour. The youth league legal advisor Joram Matomela said, “I believe that as countries that are governed by the rule of law and as countries that believe in democracy and freedom of expression we must be allowed to point out any wrong doings.”
Matomela said if there are any consequences for pointing out wrong doings then they will have to deal with those consequences as the youth movement.
“I do not think that African countries will survive if they do not allow criticism. Unlike our government this side, the South African government has been tolerant to criticism. Their democracy is more progressive than ours. Their leaders are also more tolerant to criticism unlike our leaders this side,” he said.
Botswana National Front Youth League said they are further disturbed by the lack of decisive action from the Botswana government as far as protecting Batswana who are in South Africa is concerned.
“We are aware that our students mostly staying in Durban have been neglected by the government of Botswana. We call on the government of Botswana to put the lives of its citizens first and evacuate our students who are trapped in this unsafe situation back to Botswana until there is a guarantee that the situation has stabilised.”