JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Gauteng High Court on Monday postponed the hearing of an application by Zimbabwean rights groups that are suing President Jacob Zuma over xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in that country.
The Black Business Forum Zimbabwe (BBFZ) and the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF), which represent victims drawn from several African countries, filed the application .
Among countries represented are Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Somalia and Zimbabwe.
According to one of the lawyers representing the groups Gabriel Shumba, the court postponed the case to allow the applicants to serve all the respondents with papers.
Zuma and seven others have been cited as respondents.
The ministers responsible for Home Affairs, Police, Defence and State Security as well as the Director of Public Prosecutions, Speaker of Parliament, Police Commissioner are cited as respondents.
BBFZ and ZEF made an urgent application to seek surety that such violent actions would not be allowed to recur as well as ensuring state of emergency if ever another round of xenophobic violence occurs.
Among others a litany of demands involve that Zuma should have declared a State of Emergency in xenophobic hotspots in terms of the State of Emergency Act 64 of 1997.
They want the South African government to put in place mechanisms and structures to stop the xenophobic attacks on foreigners as well as protect the lives and property of all foreign nationals regardless of race.