Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has appealed to South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa to end xenophobic attacks on Malawians raging in Durban which have forced many to seek shelter in community halls, mosques and police stations.
The ECG leader made the statement on Sunday in his Pretoria church while responding to the gracious message of goodwill from President Ramaphosa sent through a delegation of top ANC gurus. It is believed that Ramaphosa sent his team to Prophet Bushiri in a bid to lure the veteran prophet's followers to vote for him as South Africans prepare for general elections which are set to take place early next month.
So far, four Malawians are feared dead in Durban due to the escalating xenophobic attacks happening there.
“I would like, through ANC delegates here, to appeal to President Ramaphosa to act and put an end to xenophobia attacks on Malawians happening in Durban.
“I am a Malawian and it shocks me seeing images of violence and death due to these attacks. We are all Africans, lets learn to live and coexist together,” he said.
Meanwhile, the government has condemned the attacks.
“Government is concerned about the reported attacks on foreign nationals in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo,” the state communications department said in a statement issued Thursday night.
“We urge law enforcement agencies to ensure that perpetrators of these violent acts are brought to book”.
Ramaphosa also weighed in on the matter during a presidential dinner in Durban, and said that South Africans must not present themselves as an intolerant people.
“These recent attacks that have been levelled against people from other countries are wrong. They violate everything that our people fought for over many decades. I condemn them in the strongest terms.”
Attacks on foreigners started after midnight on Sunday. They began at Kenville Informal Settlement and spread to Sea Cow Lake and Burnwood. Locals were allegedly angry that foreigners were taking their jobs.
Xenophobia against migrants from other African countries is not new in South Africa.
In 2015 unrest in the cities of Johannesburg and Durban claimed seven lives as immigrants were hunted down and attacked by gangs.
South Africa experienced its worst outbreak of violence against foreigners in 2008, when more than 60 people died.