Xenophobic attacks shame South Africa as regional leaders meet

SA plagued by outbreak of violence against foreign-owned shops and business premises.
The attacks come ahead of the beginning of the African edition of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town on September 4. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

South Africa has been hit by an outbreak of attacks on migrants from other African countries as the nation prepared to host a meeting of political and business leaders from across the continent.

A spate of violence that broke out in suburbs south of Johannesburg’s city centre on Sunday and spread to the central business district on Monday saw the destruction of more than 50 shops and business premises mainly owned by Africans from countries in the rest of the continent such as Nigeria and Somalia. Cars and properties were torched and widespread looting took place.

The attacks come ahead of the beginning of the African edition of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town on September 4 and before a state visit to South Africa by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, a country whose nationals have been affected, next month.

“The continuing attacks on Nigerian nationals and businesses in South Africa are unacceptable,” the government of Nigeria said on Twitter. “Enough is enough. Nigeria will take definitive measures to ensure safety and protection of her citizens.”

The violence echoes sporadic outbreaks of attacks mainly targeting migrants from other African countries in some of South Africa’s poorest areas. In 2008 about 60 people were killed and over 50 000 forced from their homes and in 2015 seven people died in violence. Migrants are seen as competition for scarce jobs and government services.

Other Nigerian politicians, including former presidential election candidate Oby Ezekwesili called for stronger intervention by the government. The government has summoned South Africa’s ambassador, the Punch newspaper reported.

 

Zambia warned its truck drivers, many of whom drive goods south to the South African port of Durban, to stay out of the country. Newsday, a Zimbabwean newspaper, reported that trucks were queuing on the Zimbabwean side of the border with South Africa at Beitbridge, with drivers reluctant to cross. Newspapers also reported that truck drivers were waiting for calm in eSwatini and Botswana.

“It is barbaric to attack people simply because they are foreigners, it is not acceptable,” Chanda Kasolo, permanent secretary in Zambia’s information ministry, said on national television. “Our leaders are doing everything possible to communicate with the South African government to ask them to take better control of things.”

South African politicians condemned the violence, in which one person was shot dead, according to eNCA, a local television station. At least 110 people were arrested.

Looting spread to Alexandra, an impoverished area in northern Johannesburg, overnight and there was unrest in Marabastad in Pretoria, 702 Talk Radio reported.

There was a police presence in central Johannesburg on Tuesday with some shops and schools closed. Major companies including Anglo American, Absa and AngloGold Ashanti either closed their offices in the city centre or reduced staffing.

Still, politicians from the ruling African National Congress have in the past made anti-immigrant comments and Johannesburg’s mayor, Herman Mashaba, has attracted criticism from human rights groups for his frequent attacks on undocumented migrants. Mashaba is a member of the opposition Democratic Alliance.

While ANC politicians including Ace Malagasy, the secretary-general of the ANC, and David Makhura, an ANC politician and premier of Gauteng province, in which Johannesburg and Pretoria lie, have said there is no justification for the violence South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to make a public statement.

“There is an utter absence of leadership in this country,” said Claude Baissac, the head of Eunomix Business & Economics “Lawlessness, lack of hope, lack of opportunity. It’s a country that’s slowly, slowly but continuously slipping into state failure.”

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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Ace the beaut comments again with his pearls of wisdom!!
Ace and his cronies are the underlying cause of the violence
Ace people are hungry, cold and disillusioned with you and your cronies.
You have brought South Africa single handedly to its knees
You are a disgrace. What you and your cronies have done is “unacceptable”
I hope the rioters who were arrested become your cell mate-that would be “acceptable”

The past 10 years have shown that nothing can shame the corrupt ANC and friends. They are now reaping what they sowed.

Well their political masters loot and steal to their heart’s content and nothing happens, so many follow the example.

A pity these people cant see what their fellow Africans from Neighboring countries (peaceful countries) say about them.

Maybe their leaders should tell them what the rest of Africa think about them.

It would be a good sign if the segment of our population that regards xenophobia as the national sport stopped looking for faults in others and started working, really working, on some of their own faults.

So Mashaba gets dragged into this by human rights groups!! He is not advocating violence. He is rightly highlighting the problem of undocumented migrants’ effect on the unemployment situation which must be addressed. His attempts in the past three years to engage the five ministers of Home Affairs in addressing the issue of this have been ignored. I don’t see any mention of Home Affairs apathy in this regard and the consequences thereof. It’s amazing how someone so effective and refreshing as Mashaba has to be a target of such a comment. If one wants to stir the pot please make an effort to stir the right pot!!

Herman mashaba show them how to loot, when he went with metro to loot foreigners shop legally

Herman Mashaba is doing everything he can to clear up the mess that is the Joburg CBD without any assistance from the ANC-run central government, who have completely abdicated their responsibility to control our borders and control illegal immigration. S. Africans are fed up with it and when the law fails, people take the law into their own hands, ie, vigilantism. That does not excuse the looting (there is NO excuse for lawlessness) but this is taking place because S. Africa is supporting half the population of neighbouring countries, not to mention how many Nigerians, which is completely unsustainable. Those who are here illegally must be deported.

An african living in africa is illegal?

End of comments.

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