Wednesday December 13, 2017

Despise President Zuma condemnation; mobs are still looting foreigners shop

JOHANNESBURG – Africans killing themselves? At least five foreigners, including a 14-year-old boy, have been killed in attacks in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban since last week.

Many South Africans accuse African immigrants of taking jobs in their country.

More than 200 foreigners took refuge at police station in Johannesburg. President Zuma denounced the recent xenophobic attacks and he said it is a shocking to South African.

“No amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops,” he told parliament on Thursday.

The man who believes to be behind the current unrest in South Africa against Africa immigrants is Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. He was born 14 July 1948 at Nongoma, South Africa and he is the reigning King of the Zulu nation under the Traditional Leadership clause of South Africa’s Republican Constitution. It all started when he made a statement that ” All African Immigrants should pack their bags and go home.”

Some foreign-owned shops in the main city Johannesburg have shut down fears that the violence could spread. Zimbabwe has also condemned the attacks, blamed on locals who accuse foreigners of taking their jobs.

Tens of thousands of foreigners, mostly from other African states and Asia, have moved to South Africa since white-minority rule ended in 1994. At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks that swept South Africa in 2008. The government has ordered police to step up efforts to protect foreigners.

Malawi is the only country, which has so far decided to repatriate its citizens. Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said the first group would return at the weekend. About 420 Malawians are reportedly living in refugee camps in Durban after fleeing the violence, he said.

The BBC’s Raphael Tenthani reports from Blantyre that he received a call from a Malawian in Durban who said saw he some Malawians being killed – including a close friend who was burned alive. Local gangs accuse foreigners of taking their jobs. Foreigners have shut their shops in Johannesburg to prevent looting.

Mr Nankhumwa called on the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) to intervene to help protect foreigners. “This is unfortunate coming at a time we are working on regional integration,” he said at a press conference. “We urge the government of South Africa to protect foreigners,” he added.

At the scene: Milton Nkosi, BBC News Media caption Milton Nkosi reports from a makeshift refugee camp in Durban. Standing in the middle of a football field that has been turned into a refugee camp overnight in Durban’s Chatsworth Township, one cannot help but feel ashamed of being South African.

There are white and green tents dotted around housing destitute African migrant families who fled the violence meted out to them by their South African hosts. Two weeks ago locals began attacking and looting properties owned by fellow Africans, calling them “kwerekwere”, a derogatory word for African migrants.

I did not even have to ask Memory Mahlatini, a Zimbabwean who works as a nanny, what happened to her because her story was written all over her face. Her eyes alone made me look down in shame as she explained how a group of South Africans came to her rented home last Monday evening just as they were preparing to sleep and demanded that they go back to where they came from.

Reaction:

“Zimbabwe has to have its economy working again so that its citizens are not hunted like animals in foreign lands. The xenophobia is not only a shame for South Africa, but for the continent at large.” – Zimbabwe’s Newsday

“As Malawians, let us collectively take a stand to show our anger. For starters, let us boycott South African business empires.” – Malawi’s Nyasa Times

“The most worrying thing is that all of this in happened South Africa amidst the quasi-indifference from the authorities. It took a dozen days of deadly violence in Durban for the president to be roused to action.” – Burkina Faso’s L’Observateur

Source: BBC

THE UPPER NILE TIMES

Times Wire Staff
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