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Author Topic: Xenophobic Attacks Re-Surfaced in South Africa  (Read 495 times)

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Xenophobic Attacks Re-Surfaced in South Africa
« on: February 22, 2017, 01:11:17 AM »

Tensions are high in South Africa’s capital amid a wave of attacks against businesses owned by immigrants, who some angry residents accuse of spreading crime. A group of Pretoria residents are preparing to hold an anti-immigrant protest on Friday.

Several low-income Pretoria neighborhoods have in recent days seen violence evocative of the last major wave of of xenophobia that hit Johannesburg and Durban in 2015.

Police reported that at least 20 shops and homes were looted and burned and foreign residents were attacked Monday. No arrests have been made, police say, as no one has stepped forward to press charges.

Prince Binda, a representative from the (DRC) Congolese immigrant community, says many local Congolese residents are losing hope in the Rainbow Nation.

“I have a friend for instance in Pretoria West, who phoned and said, ‘Look, man, today I have nothing in this country,’” he said. “‘Because the car we were driving, we were thrown of out the car, and people came into the flat and they took everything.’ So really, so to be punished, or to be beaten up for what we didn’t do, makes you regret why you first came in this country.”

President Jacob Zuma’s office told VOA on Tuesday he had not made any public pronouncements on the attacks and had yet to issue a statement.

Many activists say politicians have a big role to play in these events, citing comments made by Johannesburg’s mayor Herman Mashaba in December in which he said immigrants are “holding our country to ransom” and equated immigrants to criminals. Those comments earned him sharp rebukes from other politicians.



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