WEFSA calls on authorities in South Africa to exercise responsible speech

By Edinah Masanga

I would like, on behalf of the Women’s Empowerment Foundation for Southern Africa, to call on the South African Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, to exercise restraint when speaking on sensitive matters which may ignite xenophobic violence following his remarks that Zimbabweans are responsible for crime in SA.

It is our utmost concern that when violence breaks out, it is usually women and children who bear the brunt of it. In that vein, we wish to urge the Minister to lead by example and not forget the events of 2008, April 2015 and March 2017.

While we are not dismissing the substance of the Minister’s remarks because we are not privy to the facts behind them, we are pleading that when speaking in public and to the media about such sensitive and emotional matters, he refrains from using language which might incite violence.

Our concern is based on the fact that inflammatory remarks against foreigners by public officials have led to xenophobic violence in the past.

As a public benefit media organisation, we condemn inflammatory speech in the strongest terms.

Statement by WEFSA CEO Edinah Masanga.