Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzanian President dismisses almost 10,000 public servants over forged college certificates

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French Election: Abstention, Anger & Apathy

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Macron vs. Le Pen: France's bitter presidential run-off race (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Trump's First 100 Days, The Pope in Egypt (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Egypt's Coptic Christians targeted by Islamic State group

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

France's wartime past takes centre stage in presidential campaign

Read more

#TECH 24

How one NGO is using 3D printers to improve disaster relief

Read more

REVISITED

What remains of Nicaragua’s revolution?

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)