Learners warned against attacking foreign nationals

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pretoria - The Department of Basic Education has warned learners not to involve themselves in looting and attacking of foreign nationals.

The department on Monday said parents and schools must educate learners on the dire consequences for those caught participating in the violence and looting. It said learners must be sensitised to recognise South Africa’s common African identity.

“The attacks on foreign nationals are a criminal offence and will not be tolerated,” spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said before condemning violence against foreign nationals.

What is extremely troubling, Mhlanga said, is the fact that many of these incidents of violence have been witnessed by young children.

Witnessing these violent acts may have a long term psychological impact on these youths and perpetuate a culture of violence, he said.

“Children need to be taught by example that violence is not the way to resolve conflict, especially because we were able to achieve our freedom and democracy through dialogue and discussion.”

The department has welcomed the intervention of the President in restoring calm and ensuring concerns expressed by both sides are being addressed.

“We need to take heed of where we come from as a country and remember that any problem or issues of concern must be resolved peacefully and through dialogue, in line with our proud history as South Africans.

“In the spirit of our late icon Nelson Mandela, let us work together towards reconciliation,” Mhlanga said. – SAnews.gov.za