The Department of Basic Education (DBE) condemns in the strongest possible terms any violence against foreign nationals. The spate of attacks on foreigners in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng over the past week has disrupted schooling and is completely unacceptable.
What is extremely troubling is the fact that many of these incidents of outrageous violence have been witnessed by young children, and witnessing these violent acts may have a long term psychological impact on these youths and perpetuate a culture of violence. Children need to be taught by example that violence is not the way to resolve conflict more especially because we were able to achieve our freedom and democracy through dialogue and discussion
These attacks on foreign nationals misrepresent our democratic order. We appeal for calm and restraint from South Africans and foreign nationals alike in order for peace to prevail and for schooling to continue without disruption of violent conflict.
The DBE welcomes the intervention of the President in restoring calm and ensuring concerns expressed by both sides are being addressed. We need to take heed of where we come from as a country and remember that any problem or issues of concern must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue in line with our proud history as South Africans. In the spirit of our late icon Nelson Mandela let us work together towards reconciliation.
We applaud the work of the police who are working round the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens. Looters and those committing acts of violence and disrupting schooling are being arrested.
We notice that many of those participating in the looting are youths. We encourage schools and parents to educate learners of the dire consequences for those caught participating in the violence or looting and more importantly to recognise our common African identity and humanity.
The Government of the Republic of South Africa has been clear; attacks on foreign nationals are a criminal offence and will not be tolerated.
SOURCE: South African Official News