South Africa


UN condemns murder of Elvis Nyathi and all xenophobic acts in South Africa

UN condemns murder of Elvis Nyathi and all xenophobic acts in South Africa
Protesters at the Stand together against xenophobia and discrimination march in Cape Town from Keisergracht Street to Parliament on 21 March 2022. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

The United Nations has expressed growing concern about the ongoing violence, intimidation and harassment against foreigners in South Africa and has urged the government to ensure their human rights are respected.

The acting head of the UN in South Africa, Ayodele Odusola, cited particularly the brutal killing of Elvis Nyathi, the Zimbabwean father of four who was beaten and burnt to death in Diepsloot outside Johannesburg last Wednesday. 

“It is deeply worrisome and unfortunate that this is happening in a country with one of the most inclusive constitutions globally,” said Odusola.  

“Over the recent past we have noted with deep concern as movements such as Operation Dudula are illegally forcing people suspected to be undocumented foreign nationals to show their papers. Our thoughts are with the family of Mr Nyathi and with all of those families affected by similar violence in the recent months.”

In a statement, the UN said it was important to note that the South African government had ratified several international human rights and refugee instruments that were also an integral part of national law:

“This requires that the human rights of all persons residing in South Africa, regardless of their nationality or immigration status, must be respected. This includes individuals who may be refugees, asylum seekers or stateless persons.”

March against xenophobia and for social justice for the ‘excluded majority’

“The UN stands by the recent statements by government representatives opposing actions by the violent protesters and urging people not to take the law into their hands. 

“One example of this includes President Cyril Ramaphosa, stating: ‘As a country founded on tolerance, respect for diversity and non-discrimination, we must never allow ourselves to turn against people who come from beyond our borders.’ And that: ‘Acts of lawlessness directed at foreign nationals, whether documented or undocumented, could not be tolerated.’” DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    Words are cheap Mr President – where is the action to stop this senseless activity driven by people who know not what they do. boots on the other foot now that UN is klapping this country!

  • Mike Lamb says:

    Nip Xenophobia in the bud before the next logical step and no, I do mean
    ‘lets get the colonialists” , I’m referring to tribalism. Look to the other states to the north of us if you doubt what I mean.

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox

Download the Daily Maverick Elections Toolbox.

+ Your election day questions answered
+ What's different this election
+ Test yourself! Take the quiz