GATVOL foreign nationals told Mzansi this week they can’t access basic services and are associated with crime!

They pleaded with government to make their stay in their adopted country safe.

They also urged the Human Rights Commission to deliver a letter in which they have requested general amnesty, to political parties and to the Presidency.

They were speaking at a hearing on migration, xenophobia and social cohesion in Braamfontein, Joburg, on Wednesday and Thursday.

The hearings are aimed at creating an understanding of migrants and migration and to ensure they are granted rights.

The African Diaspora Forum, which was created after the 2008 xenophobic attacks, raised challenges faced by foreign nationals.

The forum’s representative Marc Gbaffou read a letter his organisation’s members have written.

In it, they say:

Perpetrators of xenophobic attacks on foreigners often unfairly accuse their victims of being in the country and of using public services illegally.
Undocumented immigrants who want to leave the country are arrested at borders or airports.
Many illegal immigrants’ kids can’t go to school.
They requested government to grant amnesty to migrants who already live in this country.
Meanwhile, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation project leader Elnari Potgieter presented findings of her research.

Potgieter’s research reveals a level of distrust directed against people from other countries.

The commission accepted the letter and said it would forward it to the Presidency.