#AfricaDay: ‘South Africans have lived peacefully with foreigners’

South Africa has always been a peaceful and harmonious home for fellow Africans, President Jacob Zuma said in his Africa Day 2017 speech on Thursday.

“South Africans have always lived in peace and harmony with brothers and sisters from other African countries in many communities,” Zuma told a delegation, which included numerous envoys, at the Sefako Makgatho Presidential Guesthouse in Pretoria.

“South Africa has always been home to nationals from sister countries from Mozambique, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi, Swaziland, Botswana, Algeria, Uganda, Kenya and others, even at the height of apartheid oppression.”

Zuma urged the fellow Africans drawn and pushed to South Africa, to continue living in peace with locals.

“They [people from fellow African states] have lived in peace and friendship with South Africans and should continue to do so. We urge all communities to isolate criminal elements whose behaviour causes tensions at times amongst our peoples,” said Zuma.

“They [communities] must unite against serious crimes such as human trafficking, child prostitution, forced prostitution and others which have become serious challenges in our country.”

He said individuals who commit such crimes must be reported to the police, regardless of their nationality.

“We also urge employers to stop causing tensions amongst our peoples, through employing illegal immigrants. The South African government continues to work tirelessly to remove all these sources of tension, working with our people,” said Zuma.

Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25 within the African continent to mark the formation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963, and the African Union in 2002 as well as to chart the progress made by the continent since then in advancing democracy, peace, stability and socio-economic development.

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