As xenophobic and black on black violence broke out again in Johannesburg today, the EFF leader Julius Malema has appealed to African victims of the attacks, to have a large heart of forgiveness.
Malema who broke away from the ruling African National Congress several years ago, said in a report published today News24 that his Economic Freedom Fighters understands and fully supports Africans who have boycotted South Africa following the recent spate of violence aimed at foreigners.
“Find it in your good hearts to forgive us, we are sorry, we are ashamed of ourselves and sincerely apologise for this madness,” said EFF leader Julius Malema during a media briefing at the party’s headquarters on Thursday.
He added the red berets unapologetically sided with the victims and called on South Africans to stop their actions, cautioning that it was the only way for the rest of the continent to treat the country properly.
Various African countries have retaliated to the spate of attacks, through demonstrations and boycotts, with even high-profile personalities taking to social media denouncing the ongoing violence.
“We are saying to our fellow African brothers and sisters it’s not all of us, the majority of us know we are not South Africans, we are Africans. There is nothing special about South Africa,” said Malema.
At least seven people, including some South Africans, have died in the violence, which has seen several shops looted across some of Gauteng’s three big metros and numerous suburbs.
“We are saying to our fellow African brothers and sisters it’s not all of us, the majority of us know we are not South Africans, we are Africans.There is nothing special about South Africa,” said Malema.
Malema, who said white capital and the ANC government had to take full responsibility for the outbreak of violence, added the rand had been performing better than it had in recent months, instead of struggling as the country burned.
“How can the rand strengthen when people are killing each other? Someone is excited here.”
He said the violence should affect everyone in the country, including its markets.
Malema had some choice words for the private sector, which he said was a “polite way” of saying white people.
“They always tell us who to hate and who to love, always tell us what is wrong and what is right.”
In dealing with the argument that some have made for the violence, that foreign nationals steal jobs from South Africans, Malema said it was the private sector that was doing that.
“There are no foreign nationals in the government, it is the private sector, simply put white people who prefer foreign nationals over South Africans. After employing foreign nationals, they come to you and say don’t you think this border being loose has led to the high unemployment rate.”
He added South Africans had come from a traumatic past and was still soul-searching.
“It’s not a Nigerian, a Zimbabwean that killed Uyinene [Mrwetyana], it’s us South African men. It is us who are killing our women, let’s deal with ourselves. Don’t tell me Nigerians must stop selling drugs here, Nigerians must stop selling drugs in Nigeria,” said Malema.