General News of Friday, 24 February 2017
The Foreign Affairs minister says no Ghanaian individual or business has been attacked in the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In an emergency address in Parliament Friday, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway who briefed the House on the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa said her outfit is taking steps to ensure that no Ghanaian individual or interest is harmed.
She also outlined measures her outfit has taken to protect Ghanaians working and living in the Southern African country.
Many black africans have been attacked in recent times by unemployed South Africans who have accused foreigners, mostly Black Africans of taking their jobs.
In the past week, Nigerian nationals have been attacked in the capital Pretoria; on Monday, 34 foreign-owned shops were looted in parts of Pretoria, and a local group has called for a march on Friday in protest over immigrants it claims are taking over their jobs.
The attacks triggered condemnation by the Nigerian government and a call by MPs for Nigeria’s ambassador to South Africa to be recalled. But South Africa’s foreign affairs department dismissed claims that Nigerian nationals were the targets of xenophobic violence.
Spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the attacks were nothing more than sporadic criminal incidents. The government also said inflammatory social media statements by South Africans and foreign nationals against each other were unnecessary.
Giving assurance of measures that has been taken to protect Ghanaians in SA, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told Parliament that Ghanaian residents in the Mamelodi area have been asked to stay indoors as part of measures to prevent any attacks on them.
According to her, the Ghanaian mission in South Africa has also written to the South African government seeking for protection for Ghanaian citizens so they are not attacked.
Madam Ayorkor Botchway also told Parliament that contingency measures have been activated to deal with the situation.
She revealed that hotlines have been introduced and announced to the Ghanaian community to call if they feel threatened.
In reaction to her address by some Members of Parliament, Minority Chief Whip, Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak called for a boycott of all South African products and services in Ghana and across Africa in protest over the treatment meted out to foreigners in SA.
In 2015, seven people died in riots and looting of businesses run by foreigners in Johannesburg and in Durban.