Calling for an immediate halt to the attacks‚ she issued a statement saying: “Whatever the challenges we may be facing‚ no circumstances justify attacks on people‚ whether foreigners or locals. It is unacceptable”.

The AU Commission chairperson decried the incidents as particularly unfortunate‚ as celebrations of Africa month approaches. “On 25 May we remember the founding of the Organisation of African Unity‚ which played such a critical role in mobilising international solidarity for the end of Apartheid‚” she added.

Former United Nations Human Rights Commission Navi Pillay said in an interview with SABC News that South Africa should come up with policies to protect foreign nationals living in the country.

“They (foreign nationals) didn’t come in, they were let in by the government, the borders were open, they were let in,” she said. “So, there is a need for a national policy when you have open-door migration that you ensure that there are services provided for them, that the rights of migrants are protected.”

President Jacob Zuma called for peaceful co-existence of locals and foreigners, “South Africans should be conscious of the contributions of other African countries in the dismantling of apartheid” says President Zuma. Refugees and asylum seekers would be accorded support in line with international law and protocols.

“Our country stands firmly against all intolerance such as racism, xenophobia, homophobia and sexism,” he said. “We extend our condolences to the families of all those who have lost their lives and wish the injured speed recovery. “We were treated with generosity, dignity and respect by our brothers and sisters from the rest of the continent. We will never forget that Africa and the Organisation of African Unity were critical to the achievement of democracy we are enjoying today”.

The good-will messages delivered by President Jacob Zuma didn’t live up to the expectations of the world, as President Zuma refused to label the ongoing attacks of foreign nationals as xenophobic. He said the attacks were socio-economic in nature and not xenophobic given the large numbers of foreign nationals who have successfully integrated in the society.

Dlamini-Zuma appealed for dialogue in and amongst communities‚ to address the challenges and find peaceful solutions.

She added the challenges faced by South Africa‚ poverty and unemployment‚ are challenges faced by all countries on the continent. “We must work together to address these‚ and build a better future for all Africans.”

The AU Commission Chairperson appealed for dialogue in and amongst communities, to address the challenges and find peaceful solutions.