At least six people have been killed in attacks on immigrants in South Africa in the last two weeks. President Jacob Zuma now appealing that attacks on foreigners must end.
Shops and homes belonging to Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other immigrants have been attacked in particularly coastal city of Durban. Families were forced to flee to camps supervised by armed personnel.
– We have witnessed shocking and unacceptable events where foreigners are victims of violence, said Zuma on Thursday in a speech to parliament.
Both tear gas and rubber bullets were used when the police would disperse demonstrators in Johannesburg protested against immigration. While attending up 5,000 people in a rally against racism in Durban.
The violence erupted after the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelethini, quoted in local media, called on all strangers to “return to their home countries”. Zwelethini the latter, however, said that his statement misconstrued.
About five million immigrants live in South Africa, a country with fifty million inhabitants. Many come from neighboring countries, although immigration is also from Pakistan and China.
The high unemployment rate among South Africans, at least 25 percent, widespread poverty and sky wide income disparities mentioned as a background to the recurring violence against the country’s immigrants.
– How big disappointment and anger is, it can never justify attacks on foreign nationals or looting of their shops, Zuma said in his speech.