Two months ago, Jeff Radebe, the Minister in the Presidency announced that government was to establish special courts in each of the provinces in which xenophobia attacks occurred.
He said that government wanted to deal with the offenders. He promised tough action from government. These courts were to show no mercy to perpetrators of xenophobic violence.
During these attacks, seven foreigners lost their lives. Looters and vandals destroyed scores of shops owned by foreign nationals. Damages ran into millions of rand. Our country suffered very serious reputational damage.
The only court process that we are aware of relates to the murder of Marcia Sithole who was killed in Alexandra township. When will the state prosecute all the others? The government and the minister have seemingly gone underground.
We have become accustomed to big empty promises by this government. We must take note, however, that government also made promises to the international community. Is government going to renege on its promises?
Cope calls upon the government to make public the progress that the state was making in setting up these special-xenophobia-courts. We also want to know how many people are facing charges in the different provinces and when they will come to court to answer those charges.
We need to see purposeful action without any delay.