Harare – Zimbabwe’s outspoken information minister, Jonathan Moyo, hit out on Tuesday at xenophobic attacks in South Africa, warning that xenophobia could “easily mutate” into genocide.

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Moyo

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“King [Goodwill] Zwelithini must extinguish what he ignited. Xenophobia is a crime against humanity,” Moyo tweeted in one of the first public reactions from a Zimbabwe government official to the wave of violence that has horrified many Zimbabweans.

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“Xenophobia today can easily mutate into genocide tomorrow. Stop It,” Moyo said, using the hashtag #AfrophobiainSAMustEnd.

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South Africa is home to at least one million Zimbabweans, many of them illegal residents.

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Moyo also hit back at ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s criticism of President Robert Mugabe’s treatment of whites, saying Zimbabwe did not agree with the ANC’s view on blacks.

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The information minister, who is behind Zimbabwe’s tough press laws, tweeted a link to a story headlined “We differ with Mugabe on whites: Mantashe” and commented: “And we differ with @MyANC_on blacks!”

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“In ZANU-PF we reject Afrophobia,” Moyo said in another tweet.

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His comments were in reaction to Mantashe’s claim on Monday that the ANC “theorise[s] colonialism differently to Zanu-PF”.

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Meanwhile, there have been calls on Zimbabwean social media for locals to boycott a show by Durban-based group Big Nuz in protest against the xenophobic violence. The group is due to perform in Bulawayo on Friday.

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Not everyone agrees with a boycott. Twitter user @patphiri said: “So are people also going to boycott #SABC soapies/ SA PSL/ SA booze kumbe #BigNuz #Cassper are the fall guys.”

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Mduduzi Mathuthu, editor of the state-controlled Chronicle newspaper, tweeted: “Shrill calls to bar Big Nuz from performing in Byo on Friday over SA #xenophobia. I prefer Big Nuz to come, perform and condemn #xenophobia.” – News24