Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson
Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson

Cardinal Turkson implores South Africans to stop xenophobic attacks

One of Ghana’s voices in the Vatican, Cardinal Peter Appiah Turkson, has appealed to the perpetrators of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa to stop visiting violence on their fellow Africans.

Cardinal Turkson, who is the First Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development at The Holy See, Vatican City, urged the perpetrators behind the attacks on foreigners to recognise that South Africa was not an island as it belonged to the continent and the global society.


“South Africans must not forget that other Africans played a leading role to help end apartheid and bring freedom to their country,” he said.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic at the Kofi Annan Peace and Security Forum in Accra last Thursday, September 5, Cardinal Turkson, who is also the Goodwill Ambassador of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC), described the recent attacks on other foreign nationals by South Africans as unfortunate.

"Since the incident, different heads of state have cautioned their citizens in South Africa to be careful. It can result in other South Africans in other countries being attacked. It is not the first time this is happening. It happened in 2008, 2012 and this year,” he said.


Addressing the perpetrators, he said there was no guarantee that if all foreigners in South Africa were out, they would be able to fill up the positions they claimed were being taken up by other nationals.

"A country requires a lot of talents and you need to recognise the diversity of talents, the entrepreneurial skills in people, among others. Getting all the foreigners out of South Africa will not mean that South Africa will solve all its unemployment issues, shortage and all. It is a naive thinking.

"I will appeal to South Africans to remember that the rest of Africa contributed to the end of the apartheid in South Africa to make you enjoy the new dispensation you have now. The victory over apartheid was not only due to the efforts of only South Africans. They must recognise that other Africans fought with them. Is it jealousy or it is the lack of appreciation of other talents that you do not have?” he asked.


Cardinal Turkson said there were other South African businesses in other African countries and other parts of the world like AngloGold, yielding fortunes that were being used to build South Africa.

He stated that :“South Africa has a problem with inclusion and getting everyone on board. Mandela started a legacy of getting everyone on board but unfortunately this has not been followed by his predecessors. He worked for inclusive South Africa but now that inclusion has eluded South Africa.”

To end the perennial xenophobic attacks, Cardinal Turkson said the church in South Africa needed to play a critical role by educating and forming the mindsets of people to embrace and live in peace with everyone.

Cardinal Turkson and two other security chiefs spoke in the interview on the recurrent xenophobic attacks in South Africa.


A peacekeeping training consultant with the KAIPTC, Brigadier General Benjamin Kusi, also said "what is happening is unfortunate. The older generation of South Africans can recollect that other African countries made a lot of efforts in terms of financial commitments, training freedom fighters and training some South African leaders in their schools."

Brig. Kusi said the situation could escalate and get out of control, if not properly handled, as it could also result in internal revolution.

A Communications Consultant from Nigeria, Brigadier General Saleh Bala (retd), asked the political leadership in South Africa to take bold steps to address the situation.

"It is important that the leadership raises its people above poverty, ignorance and feed the people with a sense of history. We have to remember as Africans that we are one. That our boundaries are basically colonial and we should look at humanism as fundamental in our relationship as humans,” he stated.

He urged politicians not to butt the heads of the citizens and commended the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, a South African political party, Mr Julius Malema, for condemning the acts.

“The leadership must express that we are all of common humanity and create the favourable economic environment for people to thrive,” he said.

Update on Security Situation

Meanwhile, further to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration’s press release of September 3, 2019, and in keeping with the decision to apprise the general public of developments on the situation in South Africa, it has stated: “Our Mission in Pretoria has reported that three Ghanaians have been injured in the xenophobic unrest,” adding : “The Mission is ensuring that the injured Ghanaians receive the necessary medical attention.”

The statement continued that on September 5, 2019, the South African Security Agencies commenced an exercise to check the resident permits of foreigners residing in Sunnyside, a suburb of Pretoria, and that so far, five Ghanaians had been arrested and detained at the Sunnyside Police Station.

“Officials of the High Commission have visited the police station to provide consular assistance to the detained Ghanaians and are following up on the matter,” the statement indicated.



Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...