President Emmerson Mnangagwa has expressed concern over xenophobic attacks in South Africa which have often targeted African immigrants.
His remarks, which come shortly before Africa Day, follow the eruption of movements such as Operation Dudula that are championing the “put South Africans first” mantra.
Writing in his weekly column in The Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa said:
Yet no white immigrants are affected, even though South Africa’s Economy largely remains in white and foreign hands, as is also the case in many African countries.
This is a racialised war of black African underdogs, couched as nationalism, a fight for servitude by equally disempowered Africans, whatever their countries of origin. This attacks the very heart and soul of our solidarity as Africans uniformly objectified by long colonialism.
Movements such as Operation Dudula have been pushing anti-immigrant campaigns targeting mainly undocumented foreign nationals in South Africa. They have, however, in the past indiscriminately attacked foreigners, some with the required documents.
Many foreigners are living in fear following the death of Elvis Nyathi, a Zimbabwean national who was tortured and burnt alive last month.
Some have since returned to their countries.
Meanwhile, Africa Day, which is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity on 25 May 1963, has for long been used as a day for Africans to celebrate the values of brotherhood and sisterhood in unity.