South Africa which recently has been hit by a wave of xenophobic attacks, which have not died down, allegedly arising from the inciting comments of a Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who asked foreigners to “pack their bags and go home”.
Recent reports claim that the military has been called up to help the police who are currently unable to contain the attacks. The need for the military to join forces with other security operatives stemmed from the fact that despite the gravity of the attacks, which have been ongoing for the past three weeks and has claimed about seven lives, injured many and sent thousands fleeing from their homes, the government has been accused of taking slow actions towards the perpetuators.
The government has however taken a firmer stand with the introduction of the military. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the defence minister, said the soldiers would be deployed to volatile areas of KwaZulu Natal, the province where the worst of the violence has taken place, and Alexandra, an impoverished township outside Johannesburg.
“The army will be deployed because there is a crisis,” she said. “We cannot continue with what has been going on; we are now reclaiming authority of the state,”
Ms Mapisa-Nqakula said. “We cannot have people riding on the backs of innocent South Africans because out there the world believes that all South Africans are the same. The perception created is that we are not protecting foreign nationals.”
It is believed that the military will achieve better results even though the police have reportedly arrested 307 persons in connection with the attacks, they are a long way from being quelled.