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Anti-immigrant Violence in South Africa Spreads

Mobs in South Africa
attacked shops owned by immigrants in a poor area of Johannesburg early
Saturday following similar violence in another part of the country that
killed six people, according to media reports.


There was a heavy police presence in Alexandra township after rioters
looted some shops, burned tires and built street barricades overnight.
The report says police fired rubber bullets in an attempt to stop the
unrest, news outlet eNCA reported.

Several shops and cars owned by immigrants were torched in downtown Johannesburg in recent days.

Attacks on immigrants, many of them from other African countries, in and
around the coastal city of Durban have subsided after the deaths of six
people there, police said. Some 112 people were arrested in
KwaZulu-Natal province, which includes Durban, during the riots there,
according to authorities.

Some South Africans have accused immigrants of taking jobs and
opportunities away from them in a country with high unemployment. The
government has said it is addressing complaints about undocumented
migrants, while noting that many foreign nationals are living legally in
South Africa and contributing to economic development.

About 60 people died in similar unrest in South Africa in 2008. In
January this year, four people died during a week of looting of
foreign-owned shops and other violence in Soweto and other areas of
Johannesburg.

Mugabe ‘shocked, disgusted’

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday expressed shock and
disgust at attacks on immigrants in neighboring South Africa and said
his government was working to bring back home affected Zimbabwean
citizens.

Mugabe said during a speech at a football stadium in the capital,
Harare, to mark 35 years of Zimbabwe’s independence that all Africans in
South Africa should be treated with dignity.

“The act of treating other Africans in that horrible way can never be
condoned by anyone,” said the 91-year-old, speaking on behalf of the
regional Southern African Development Community and African Union, both
of which he currently chairs.

An estimated one million Zimbabweans live in South Africa having
escaped an economic crisis and political violence at home over the last
15 years.

Some material for this report comes from Reuters.

Credit: VOA News

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Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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