According to the Guardian newspaper, Italian police have arrested two suspected people traffickers among the survivors of the migrant boat that capsized off the coast of Libya on Sunday, as the United Nations said it believed that at least 800 people died in the sinking – the worst such incident ever in the Mediterranean.
Prosecutors said they had detained 27-year-old Tunisian Mohammed Ali Malek, believed to be the captain of the vessel, and Syrian national Mahmud Bikhit, 25. The two were taken from a group of 27 haggard survivors who arrived in the Sicilian port of Catania on Monday evening. The two were charged with people trafficking and the captain was also charged with reckless multiple homicide in relation to the sinking.
Survivors had earlier told investigators that they believed the vessel capsized after a collision with the King Jacob. Some told the Ansa news agency that the captain of the migrant boat was carelessly steering the vessel – and therefore could have rammed into the cargo ship – in order to avoid being identified later as the captain.
The King Jacob has been involved in four other rescue operations, according to Italian press reports. Commercial ships have played an important role in rescue operations, responding both to the calls of migrant ships that are in distress and requests for help from the Italian coastguard and navy. Aid agencies say such commercial vessels have become invaluable partners to Italian officials in cases when they are closer to distressed boats than the Italian rescue boats are. According to the IOM, commercial ships helped rescue 40,000 people last year, even though aid agencies and others have said the vessels are not really equipped to handle such sensitive rescues.
Last month, the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini made a public statement in which he compared “foreigners” in South Africa to lice and advised them to pack and return to where they came from. Although many South Africans were shocked and disgusted and compared the King’s speech to that of the speeches made during the Rwandan genocide in which Tutsis were referred to as cockroaches, however, the South African government has taken no action against Goodwill. Had that speech by the so called king made by an ordinary man, by now the person would have been charged for hate speech.
South Africa’s Equality Act allows for prosecution in cases of hate speech and incitement to violence, while Article 3 of the UN convention against Genocide also makes provisions for “direct and public incitement to commit genocide”.
It is rather disappointing that the South African president Jacob Zuma himself could described this barbaric act as just criminality. This goes to show how easily we forget our past. It was 27th of April 1994 when ANC wins first non-racial elections, which paved the way for Nelson Mandela to be president of South Africa. This was made possible mainly because of the collective efforts of Africans and today this barbaric and savagery act against the same people who fought for your freedom is what South African got to pay them. It is rather sad we still have such leadership in our continent, by now, South Africa should be suspended from that use for nothing union AU, however, because they just don’t care. Only rhetoric or unilateral actions would not solve the problem they must call an emergency meeting and make sure South Africa pay for the state sponsored genocide of foreigner.
After brutally Killing over 20 people and displacing more than 5000 people, Zuma thought it’s enough now so he called in the army to curb the savagery, but the problem is he and his government are responsible for what is happening. These people who are killing and ransacking foreign properties and businesses are encouraged by the leadership because in the heat of the moment if a president could stand and say those who are legally here should be treated like brothers, so how about those illegal migrants, are they not human? Of course they are.
During the apartheid even the tiniest country in the African continent, such as Gambia did lodged cared for them and some of them are still there. But because they have a short lived memory they have forgotten their past. No wonder they are barbaric.