First Republican President Dr Kenneth Kaunda has called on the South African government to reflect and think soberly to stop the inhumane and barbaric attacks fellow African nationals.

And Dr Kaunda says he is saddened and heartbroken on the passing of Zimbabwe’s former president Robert Mugabe.

Speaking during a press briefing at his at his New Kasama residence in Lusaka today, Dr Kaunda condemned the fresh wave of xenophobic attacks against non-South African citizens in that country.

He reminded South Africans that the people they were treating with such cruelty were the same people who were once comrades in arms in fighting against the brutal Apartheid regime, which finally collapsed in 1994.

Dr Kaunda also urged the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Africa Union (AU) to take keen interest in the issue, which he said was getting out of hand.

“My brothers and sisters, I was shocked and terrified to see the heinous violence and horrific incidences in South Africa where blacks are arising against blacks. I never imagined that I would see such days in my life. I wish to urge the South African leadership to reflect and think soberly and stop this inhumane and barbaric attacks to the fellow brothers and sisters. Our brothers in South Africa should remember that these same people they are treating with such cruelty are the same people who were comrades in arms in fighting the brutal Apartheid regime. It was not an easy road in fighting a brutal and sophisticated regime. It called for concerted efforts from all corners of Africa, in particular, and the world in general,” Dr Kaunda told journalists.

“I want to urge SADC and AU to take keen interest in resolving this issue, which is now getting out of hand. And I am stressing that not only in South Africa, but Africa as a continent. They must develop educational programmes, which will ensure that the new generation of African citizens do not forget where they are coming from. And the responsibilities they have towards fellow human beings in the common struggle for total emancipation, especially from poverty. We must always remember the guiding principle and philosophy just as our Lord Jesus Christ put it: to love our God and then love our neighbours as we love ourselves.”

He wondered how Africa was going to achieve its goals of uniting the continent if its citizenry continued alienating itself in such a way.

“How are we going to achieve our goals of uniting Africa if we continue alienating ourselves in such a way? We must all stand up and fight this mushrooming evil called xenophobia in our African culture. I wish to urge the leadership not only in South Africa, but Africa as a continent, not only to stop these barbaric attacks, but also come up with deliberate programmes to inculcate the sense of Ubuntu in our citizenry,” he said.

And Dr Kaunda expressed his grief on the passing of Mugabe, who passed away in Singapore after a long illness.

“I want to confer my heartfelt condolences to his Excellency, comrade Emmerson Mnangagwa, and the people of Zimbabwe on the passing of our brother and colleague in the common struggle, his Excellency comrade Robert Mugabe, former president of Zimbabwe. It was heartbreaking and saddening when news was brought to me this morning. However, I have already sent a message of condolences to his Excellency, comrade Emerson Mnangagwa, which he will be able to access very soon,” said Dr Kaunda.