South Africa’s Zuma Vows to End Attacks on Migrants


After the outburst of anti-foreigner violence, South Africa President Jacob Zuma came in a refugee camp in the port of Durban and told those who had fled the violence that it went against South African values and he would bring it to an end. Unfortunately, some in the crowd mocked him and blamed him of responding sluggish towards the issue. There are about six people who have died from xenophobic attacks in Durban with violence all over the place. Since white-minority rule ended in 1994, South Africa has been populated by many people from other African states and Asia. They were assumed of taking jobs in the country with 24% unemployment rate.

Mr. Zuma said “These attacks go against everything we believe in. The majority of South Africans love peace and good relations with their brothers and sisters in the continent.”

In his refugee camp visit in the Chatsworth area of Durban – after revoking his trip to Indonesia – Mr. Zuma verbalized in a televised speech “We are certainly going to stop the violence.”

He also said to the migrants who were planning to go back to their countries “Those who want to go home, when the violence stops, you are welcome to return.” It was a minority that was causing trouble as Mr. Zuma mentioned. Karen Allen, the BBC’s Southern Africa correspondent, reported that some in the crowd marked his visit as very late because they already planned to leave South Africa altogether.

During the anti-immigration violence, police detained 150 people for public-order related offences. Many foreigners have stayed in makeshift camps and nearby places like Zimbabwe, Malawi and Mozambique have declared plans to evacuate citizens.

On Saturday, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, chairman of both the Southern African Development Community and African Union, said “I would want now to express our sense of shock, disgust, as we abhor the incidences which happened in Durban.”

Violence had continued overnight in several areas around Johannesburg, with small groups attacking shops. In Alexandra— a township north of the city, rubber bullets were used to disperse looters and more than 30 people arrested by the police.

After Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini stated that foreigners should “go back to their countries,” he was accused of fuelling the attacks. However, he says his comments were distorted. There are two million foreigners in South Africa which is about 4% of the total population in the official data. But some estimates it as five million immigrants.


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