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South Africa
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SA regrets xenophobic deaths

afrol News, 11 June - South African deputy Foreign Minister, Aziz Pahad, has used the inaugural ceremony of the newly established Malawi-South Africa Joint Commission of Cooperation (JCC) in the commercial capital Blantyre to apologize for deadly xenophobic attacks on Malawians last month.

Five Malawians were killed, hundreds injured and thousands displaced from their homes by the xenophobic attacks directed at black Africans in South Africa.

Pahad said South African government had done and is still doing everything humanely possible to contain the attacks as well as bring those responsible to justice.

"The actions of these few do not reflect the majority of South Africans’ feelings," Pahad said, commending Southern Africans and Malawians of playing a crucial role in the development of his country.

“We are again sorry for what has happened and as a government we are doing everything to stop the attacks."

The deputy Foreign Minister said South African could not sustain its development without assisting other Africans.

Pahad's Malawian counterpart, Henri Mumba, has welcomed the South African government's frantic efforts to stop xenophobic attacts on other Africans in the continent's economic giant.

The two-day JCC meeting, which ends on Wednesday, is being attended by more than 200 delegates. The two countries signed the cooperation in February 2007 principally to strengthen bilateral programmes on social, political and economic relations in several areas including trade, tourism, mining, monetary and financial arrangements.

"The JCC is important to both countries because it will strengthen relations which exist between us," Mumba said, adding that it would undertake studies in agriculture and livestock for the two countries.

South African government has controlled xenophobic attacks that had left more than 50 people dead, but it is now left with the challenge of resettling or reintegrating thousands of displaced persons. It is yet to prosecute more than 1,000 arrested suspects of xenophobic incidents.

Aside xenophobic attacks, South Africa is also grappling with threats caused by rampant crimes, which has taken a great toll on the country's image and economy.

A popular South African actor Desmond Dube was among influential South Africans that led a million man march against crime at the Union Buildings in the capital Pretoria on Tuesday.

The governing African National Congress congratulated the organizers of the event, in particular, Mr Dube, hoping that the initiative and others being undertaken by citizens around the country woulf "contribute to a concerted national effort to rid our nation of this scourge."

"If we are to successfully tackle crime, the work of government and the police must be reinforced by the practical actions of individuals and communities," ANC noted.

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