Cabinet condemns xenophobic violence in strongest terms
Cabinet has made an announcement that it condemns the xenophobic attacks around the country in the strongest terms. Speaking for Cabinet, Minister in The Presidency Jeff Radebe says nothing can justify this violence and that South Africa as a country will be hurt by these attacks. Acting Cabinet Spokesperson, Phumla Williams:
The Cabinet wishes to extend it's heartfelt condolences to families affected and those that have been injured. Cabinet is adamant that we cannot be portrayed as a country that cannot talk through it's problems and address them. Kelly Khumalo, Cassper Nyovest and Big Nuz - artists whose concerts were cancelled around these attacks - are all artistic representatives of ours and this is a concern.
Some updates on the situation in various parts of the country, starting with the Joburg CBD, where EWN's Aurelie Kalenga currently is:
I'm outside the men's hostel here in Jeppestown and there are many people here that are armed, still singing that foreigners must leave. The foreigners say they will leave, but they are gathering their belongings.
EWN's Govan Whittles is at a refugee camp in Chatsworth, Durban:
In Durban in general, police have reported no incidents of overnight violence. There are long lines of Zimbabwean people and Malawian people, whose documents are being processed by government officials. A lot of people will be returning to Zimbabwe because they don't feel safe being here.
Meanwhile a group of ministers have been speaking to ambassadors representing their countries here in South Africa. One of those ministers is the State Security Minister, David Mahlobo:
Our message has been very clear and it's the message that President Zuma conveyed yesterday that we are very sorry as South Africans to families affected through members passing on and those that have been injured. There's been an agreement to put our heads together as Africans to solve this problem together with the group of ambassadors. The message that 'foreigners must leave South Africa' isn't a message that's shared by most South Africans.
As police are keeping a close eye on the situation around various communities in light of the xenophobic violence, foreign nationals are also taking steps to protect themselves. Head of Station at Nigeria's Kings Broadcasting Ltd, Jonathan Lyamgohn:
Just like anybody who wants to make a place their home; this morning, my wife told me there were disturbances in the CBD. This is definitely not a South African story, this is a global story. Nigerians are first off trying to make a living - this is why people are coming here in the first place; however, you will see that we are more connected in more ways than we realise. We are connected business-wise, we are connected socially - South Africa and Nigeria are stuck together, and for the long haul. In Nigeria, I wouldn't say there is xenophobic violence, it's more sectarian violence that has more to do with religion. However, in different parts of the world, you might find trends of violence linked to nationality and race.
CEO of the South-Africa Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, Dianna Games:
I don't think this is good for Brand South Africa in general terms and of course most of the presence of South Africa in these countries is in business terms, so it makes business an easy target.
Moz-based S.African Sasol workers to be returned
Sasol has said that workers for a contractor in Mozambique have stopped working at one of its projects out of concern for Mozambicans living here. Sasol's head of group media relations, Alex Anderson:
It's agroup of Mozambican employees that are service providers. We've had no incidents of violence on any of our sites. The Mozambicaan employees of our service providers expressed concern around what is happening with Mozambicans in South Africa. We are taking every single precaution, absolutely; we exercising the expatriation of 240 South African nationals as a mitigation measure. It is only precautionary at this stage, as there is currently no violence here.
Lamoer court appearance after handing himself in
Western Cape Police Commissioner Arno Lamoer has appeared in court this morning after being arrested on charges of corruption. Lamoer has appeared with a group of other men. EWN's Rahima Essop:
Arno Lamoer appeared with three senior police officials from the Western Cape. They all appeared with prominent businessman, Mohamed Saleem Dawjee and Dawjee's son: so it's 6 accused, with 109 counts against them. The state did not oppose bail - which has been set at R5000 and they are all out on bail - because the state doesn't believe that any of them are flight risks. I have not seen the witness list yet, so it is currently unclear whether National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega would be called upon as a witness.
Eskom's acting leadership, while decisions need to be made
At Megawatt Park in about twenty minutes' time, officials say Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is due to make an announcement about stabilizing leadership issues at Eskom. There is an Acting Chair after Zola Tsotsi stepped down. Energy expert and the MD of EE Publishers, Chris Yelland:
Let's hope they are going to announce permanent roles in these acting positions, because permanent decisions do need to be taken at this time. We really do need leadership at Eskom; we do have the War Room, but ultimately it is Eskom that would need to make decisions in order to move it forward. There is enormous pressure operationally stabilised within the first month of the appointment of the War Room - which would have been the end of January - instead, it seems as if things are in fact getting work.