Press Release

PRESS RELEASE: The United Nations in South Africa deeply concerned about violent attacks against foreign nationals

12 April 2022

  • It is important to note that the Government of South Africa has ratified several international human rights and refugee instruments that are also an integral part of national law. This requires that the human rights of all persons residing in South Africa, regardless of their nationality or immigration status, must be respected. 

Pretoria – The Acting Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in South Africa, Dr. Ayodele Odusola, notes with growing concern about the ongoing incidents of violence, intimidation and harassment against foreign nationals, including the brutal killing last Wednesday of Elvis Nyathi, a father of four children, in Diepsloot in the Johannesburg metropolitan area.

“It is deeply worrisome and unfortunate that this is happening in a country with one of the most inclusive Constitutions globally,” said Dr. Odusola. “Over the recent past we have noted with deep concern as movements such as Operation Dudula are illegally forcing people suspected to be undocumented foreign nationals to show their papers. Our thoughts are with the family of Mr. Nyathi and with all of those families affected by similar violence in the recent months.”

It is important to note that the Government of South Africa has ratified several international human rights and refugee instruments that are also an integral part of national law. This requires that the human rights of all persons residing in South Africa, regardless of their nationality or immigration status, must be respected. This includes individuals who may be refugees, asylum seekers or stateless persons.

The Acting UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa has expressed strong concerns about violence in all its forms. The UN stands by the recent statements by Government representatives opposing actions by the violent protesters and urging people not to take the law into their hands. One example of this includes President Cyril Ramaphosa, stating that “As a country founded on tolerance, respect for diversity and non-discrimination, we must never allow ourselves to turn against people who come from beyond our borders.” And that, “Acts of lawlessness directed at foreign nationals, whether documented or undocumented, could not be tolerated”.

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For interviews and media enquiries, please contact Zeenat Abdool, UN South Africa - Associate Public Information Officer, at abdool@un.org or 0827788080

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE: The United Nations in South Africa deeply concerned about violent attacks against foreign nationals

Zeenat Abdool

Zeenat Abdool

UNIC
Communications Officer

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