Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Charity Begins on Twitter

Read more

THE DEBATE

Famine as a weapon of war: 20 millon lives at risk in Africa, Yemen (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Famine as a weapon of war: 20 millon lives at risk in Africa, Yemen (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Putin building bridge from annexed Crimea to mainland Russia

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

South Korea: K-pop girl band encourage plastic surgery

Read more

ENCORE!

Karl Ove Knausgaard: The Master of the literary selfie

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Brazil's meat industry gets grilling from EU

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Attacks on aid workers threaten humanitarian operations in South Sudan

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The Russian protest movement reawakens'

Read more

Africa

South African anti-immigrant protesters clash with migrants

© Mujahid Safodien, AFP | File photo of South African security officials and migrants in Johannesburg on May 8, 2015.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2017-02-24

South African police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up clashes between local protesters and migrants in Pretoria on Friday at a march against immigration.

Shops and homes owned by foreigners have been looted and torched in recent weeks, with some South Africans alleging that the properties were brothels and drug dens.

Attacks against foreigners have erupted regularly in recent years, fuelled by South Africa's high unemployment and poverty levels.

Police in Pretoria formed lines to keep apart 500 protesters as tensions rise between some South Africans and migrants from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere.

"We are fed up with people bringing drugs to the youth and the crimes that go with it," said a South African marcher who declined to be named.

As the stand-off continued, Clement Melfort, 26, a migrant from Zimbabwe who had come to see the march told AFP: "We are not afraid of fighting."

President Jacob Zuma condemned the latest wave of xenophobic unrest, saying that there had been "threats of violence and acts of intimidation and destruction of property directed at non-nationals."

"Residents in some communities blame non-nationals for the escalating crimes especially drug trafficking," the presidency said in a statement on Friday.

Zuma called for South Africans not to blame migrants for the country's widespread crime problems, but said the government would crack down on drug-dealing and illegal immigrants.

'We are scared'

In the last week, more than 20 shops have been targeted in Atteridgeville, outside Pretoria, while residents in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg, attacked at least 12 houses.

"We have decided to not to leave the house (during the march)," Alain Bome, a 47-year-old from Democratic Republic of the Congo who has been in South Africa for 14 years, told AFP.

"We know very well there have been attacks. We are scared."

In 2008, South Africa experienced its worst bout of xenophobic violence, which left 62 people dead.

The Nigerian government this week called for the African Union to step in to stop "xenophobic attacks" on its citizens in South Africa, claiming 20 Nigerians were killed last year.

South African authorities dismiss such numbers, saying many violent deaths in the country are due to criminal activity rather than anti-immigrant sentiment.

In 2008, South Africa experienced its worst bout of xenophobic violence, which left 62 people dead.

In 2015, at least seven people died in similar unrest in Johannesburg and the Indian Ocean city of Durban as African immigrants were hunted down and attacked by gangs

(AFP)

Date created : 2017-02-24

  • SOUTH AFRICA

    South Africa court rules against ICC pullout plan

    Read more

  • SOUTH AFRICA

    South Africa to leave International Criminal Court

    Read more

  • SOUTH AFRICA

    South Africa’s Zuma survives no confidence vote after graft allegations

    Read more

COMMENT(S)