Tags: AFRICAX | AFRTOP | AFRTOPZ2 | AFSPDTEAM | ALLTOP | AME | ATTACHMENT

Immigrants in South Africa Fear More Attacks as Threats Persist

Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 08:32 AM

Immigrants living in South Africa fear attacks may spread across the country after an outbreak of violence in the eastern port city of Durban left at least five people dead.

Foreign shop owners in Johannesburg's city center shut their businesses on Wednesday, with the police maintaining a heavy presence in the area, Wayne Minnaar, spokesman for the city's police service, said by phone. Amir Sheikh, chairman of the Somalia Community Board of South Africa, said a group of locals threatened immigrant shopkeepers and messages were being circulated on social media networks calling for "mass attacks on foreigners."

South Africa is in the midst of the worst anti-foreigner violence since 2008, when about 60 people were killed and 50,000 forced from their homes. A wave of attacks in January against mainly Somali, Ethiopian and Pakistani shop owners in townships around Johannesburg, followed by looting, left at least six people dead.

"Today I feel foreign, vulnerable and unwelcome," Trevor Ncube, a Zimbabwean media owner of the Johannesburg-based Mail & Guardian, Zimbabwe Independent and Zimbabwe Standard newspapers, said in a Twitter posting. "Will I survive when they come for me?"

The streets of Durban's city center became a battleground between locals and immigrants on Tuesday, with police using water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse crowds. More than 1,400 foreigners have been displaced from their homes in Durban and surrounding townships such as Umlazi and KwaMashu and are being housed in three camps set up by the government.

Hate Speech

While there was no violence reported overnight in Durban, police continued to maintain a heavy presence, Jay Naicker, a spokesman for the police, said. At least 74 people have been arrested so far on charges including murder, public violence, business robbery and possession of firearms.

The police appealed for calm and warned against the spreading of hate speech on social media networks.

"Spreading false information on the number of deaths and attacks, the different areas that are being attacked and hate speech aimed at foreign nationals not only causes undue panic in communities, but also have the potential to fuel the violence," Naicker said in a statement.

The wave of attacks in Durban were triggered when locals accused a supermarket of firing workers and hiring foreigners to replace them, according to the police.

While the government blames criminals rather than xenophobia for much of the violence, the presence of thousands of immigrants in South African townships has stoked resentment among some locals who see them as competitors for jobs and housing.

"We are forced to once again hang our heads in shame in the face of these misguided and misplaced assaults," Zizi Kodwa, spokesman for the ruling African National Congress, said in a statement. "The very real challenges faced by the South African people of poverty, unemployment and underdevelopment cannot be blamed on people of foreign nationality."

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Africa
Immigrants living in South Africa fear attacks may spread across the country after an outbreak of violence in the eastern port city of Durban left at least five people dead.
AFRICAX, AFRTOP, AFRTOPZ2, AFSPDTEAM, ALLTOP, AME, ATTACHMENT, BBCHTO, BGOVBILLGO, BGOVCODES, BIZNEWS, BNALL, BNCAPETOW, BNCOPY, BONDWIRES, BUSINESS, CECO, CONS, COS, CRIME, DEF, DUPLICATE, ECO, EM, ESGCONTROV, ESGCOUNT, ESGRES, ESGWEAPON, ETHIOPIA, EUBNX, FDR, GEN, GENEVENT, GENNEWS, GOV, GOVTOP, GOWEB, GRAPHICS, HLDUPLICAT, HLNOVEL, HLNOVELTY0, HLNOVELTY9, IMMIGRATE, INDUSTRIES, INTNEWS, JSX, LAW, LONGFILL, MAJOR, MEFINTEAM, METALKEY, MISC, MSCIAFRICA, MSCIWORLD, NOVEL, NOVELTY0, NOVELTY9, ONWEB, ORIGINAL, POL, POLIRISK, PROTESTS, READ25, RET, SAECO, SAFRI, SOMALIA, SPREGIONS, SRCRANK1, STFILT241, STFILT268, STFILT689, UNSANCTION, UPDATE, WORLD, WRIT, ZACURZ2, ZATOP, ZATOPZ2
474
2015-32-15
Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 08:32 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved