Amnesty slams South Africa over failure to tackle xenophobia

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CAPE TOWN – on in Cape Town slammed the South African Government and Police for not doing enough to protect Somali .

Deprose Muchena, the  Regional Director for Southern Africa, said that six years after a wave of xenophobic swept the country, it was inexcusable that South African authorities had not addressed the problem.

The xenophobic in 2008 left than 60 dead and about 10,000 displaced and at the .

The Institute for Race Relations blamed the South African Government and President Thabo Mbeki for the .

He said the recent on Somali-owned shops in and around Pretoria’s Mamelodi township could have been prevented.

Muchena said in spite of repeated calls during the , the police were slow to respond and failed to adequately deploy patrols to the escalation of .

He said in the end, one refugee died, 10 , and 76 shops were burnt and looted.

Muchena said failure to prevent the attacks indicated a failure of political will to the problem.

He stressed that there was an urgent need for a national strategy to prevent violence against and also an end to the impunity which many perpetrators of violence against apparently enjoyed.

Muchena said that the scourge of , mismanagement and lack of proper border controls contributed to create a perfect storm of lawlessness, poverty and unfulfilled expectations which had now erupted into violence. (PANA/NAN)