Police Minister Bheki Cele says when police arrest foreign nationals they focus on criminality, and not where they are from.

Cele was responding to questions to the Peace and Security Cluster in the National Assembly.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Hlengiwe Mkhalipi wanted to know how the police plan to deal with attacks on foreigners in Gauteng. Mkhalipi also asked whether the attacks were not sparked by the recent arrest of foreigners, many of whom were alleged to be trading illegally on the streets of Johannesburg.

“Unfortunately as the South African Police we are not looking on xenophobia, we are looking at criminality. If you break the laws of the country, whether we are South African or we are foreign nationals, we are going to act as such on you. The last question that you raised… there are many foreign nationals that are African and others that are trading legally in South Africa. We have got nothing to do with them whatsoever. We don’t even come close to them. But those they come here without papers, sell illegal goods, we will really come close to them and put them where they are supposed to be,” says Cele.