South Africans fed up with crime, not xenophobic

26 February, 2017, 01:08 | Author: Eileen Guzman
  • Xenophobia Why attacks still happen – South African envoy

On Monday, Nigeria's presidency called on the SA government to step in to stop what it called "xenophobic attacks", following recent reports of violence against Nigerians and other nationals in Pretoria.

Resentment against foreigners has sometimes turned deadly in South Africa amid accusations that they take jobs from locals in a country where unemployment is above 25 percent.

Also, a march took place in Pretoria West against illegal immigrants following violence in the area, where some people were reported to be stopping vehicles from leaving the township.

Authorities must ensure adequate protection for all refugees and migrants living in South Africa, amid the current protests in Pretoria and the escalating xenophobic tension and attacks in different parts of Gauteng Province, Amnesty International said today.

South African President Jacob Zuma said concern about crime and drugs was widespread.

Rubber bullets, water cannons and stun grenades were employed by law enforcement during the planned march in Pretoria, which seemingly centered on xenophobia.

"I am married to a South African woman and wake up every morning to provide for my wife and my children", he explained.

Random acts of violence, looting and destruction of property had occurred, Acting National Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said.

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Police tried to keep protesters, some of them armed with sticks and pipes, apart from foreigners who were gathered to express alarm about recent attacks.

"The government of South Africa is criminally quiet and they say silence is consent, and their police are folding their hands while they are killing Nigerians, this is conspiracy, enough is enough, " he said.

"Our government is doing everything possible to sensitise all South Africans that the country is an integral part of Africa and our success or failures can not be isolated from that of Africa as a whole".

The Majority Leader said he did not understand why Ghanaians were being accused of taking over South African jobs.

Zuma said South Africans are not xenophobic, and he called on everyone, citizens and non-citizens, to work together to combat the country's high crime rate.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday resolved to send a delegation comprising of its members and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to engage the South African over the incessant xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

"We are sick and exhausted of foreigners who are coming to sell drugs and kill our people; we can't let the community go down like this", an angry South African man, who didn't want to be named, said.

He said only 5% of immigrants were refugees.

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