By Maluti Obuseng
PRETORIA, April 20 — President Jacob Zuma will travel across the country in efforts to bring an end to violence against foreign nationals which have erupted recently in parts of the country and has also appointed Home Affairs (Interior) Minister Malusi Gigaba, State Security Minister David Mahlobo and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to spearhead the government’s response to the attacks.
Police are also trying to establish the origins of SMS’s making the rounds in the country, threatening foreign nationals. Gauteng Province Police Commissioner Elias Mawela said Sunday the police were tracing the authors of these messages.
“We do have systems in place. Our intelligence community comprising crime intelligence, state security and defence intelligence, are on a 24-hour basis monitoring even the social media network, monitoring all the messages which are being sent all over the country,” he added.
“So every time when they see those messages they don’t ignore them. They follow them up, they analyse the information and advise the operational people so that we can follow them up.”
Meanwhile, State Security Minister David Mahlobo said the government was able to collect information through its intelligence structures. Mahlobo said he was satisfied with the country’s intelligence capabilities.
“We must also admit that there will be lapses like everywhere in the world. There will be lapses even in intelligence. You can check the big countries which have a strong forces like the Americans, the French and others, they’ve been hit before,” he said.
“That’s why we always say that there is no country that is not vulnerable. We are all vulnerable, but we are content that with the capability we have we will be able to respond when push come to a shove in actually securing our national integrity as our country.”
More police have been deployed to Alexandra township, north of Johannesburg, after a weekend newspaper released photographs of a Mozambican national being stabbed in full view of the public. The man died later in hospital.
Gigaba said nothing justified violence. “People must trust in the laws that we have as a country to manage the situation. Our view is quite clear there is nothing, no concern or grievance justifies the violence that we have seen perpetrated against foreign nationals,” said Gigaba.
The government has also launched a “We are One Humanity” campaign. The campaign welcomes a national dialogue on the prevalence and patterns of violence in society.