South Africa suspends parliament to fight xenophobia

(AFP) South Africa’s parliament will be suspended from next week to enable lawmakers to return to their constituencies to spread the anti-xenophobia message, in the wake of deadly attacks on African migrants.

The move is the latest in a series of government initiatives aimed at quelling weeks of violence against foreigners, which has left at least seven dead and driven thousands from their homes.

“We can’t carry on at Parliament like it is business as usual,” National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete said, adding that lawmakers were being released to take part in “appropriate” activities.

A statement issued by the parliament stressed the need for tolerance.