Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba has said it “was not necessary” for South Africa to apologise to Nigeria for the recent xenophobic attacks.
“No, there is nothing for me to apologise about,” Mashaba said on CNBC Africa’s Political Capital on Tuesday.
“What do you expect me to really apologise for?”
A total of 12 people have been killed in multiple protests across Gauteng.
Many non-South African businesses in and around Johannesburg and Pretoria were also vandalised and looted by the mob.
The lunacy of the demonstrations has been widely condemned in all political circles, prompting President Cyril Ramaphosa to issue an apology to the countries involved.
Nigeria, Rwanda, Congo and Malawi boycotted the World Economic Forum meeting held in Cape Town last week as a result.
Botswana told her citizens “travelling to South Africa to exercise extreme caution in light of recent developments resulting in violent unrests.”
Zambia also called off a planned football friendly with South Africa.
The likes of Nigeria, Zambia and DR Congo experienced reprisal protests fuelled by the xenophobic attacks.
SA embassies have been vandalised in foreign countries; overseas branches of Mr Price and Shoprite have been targeted in “revenge attacks”.
However, Mashaba’s brazen stance may add more fuel to the fire.
He told the interviewer that an apology ‘was not necessary’. Instead, he implored Ramaphosa to focus on matters in South Africa.
Mayor Mashaba insisted that the 10 million unemployed citizens of South Africa and the girls who end up getting sex-trafficked should be first in line for an apology:
“There is nothing to apologise for. We have a responsibility to get the president and Home Affairs to do something [about immigration]. What would anyone want me to apologise for?
“The country owes an official apology to thousands; if not millions of our young girls who are turned into forced prostitution by international drug syndicates.”
“We are not going to turn a blind eye on such evil crime happening under our watch.
“The country also owes an official apology to the 10.2 million unemployed South Africans who are today without jobs as a result of billions of counterfeit goods being brought illegally into the country; killing local manufacturing.”
While President Cyril Ramaphosa is apologising for the recent xenophobic attacks in SA, mayor of Johannesburg @HermanMashaba says he's got nothing to apologise for. Tune in on #PoliticalCapital tonight at 18:30 CAT on #CNBCAfrica DStv 410 or here >> https://t.co/UGlvJiCZ98 pic.twitter.com/XbnR9cgADj
— CNBC Africa (@cnbcafrica) September 17, 2019