South Africa’s Durban city rallies against xenophobia

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Up to 5,000 people have taken part
in a rally against xenophobia in South Africa’s coastal city of Durban
following attacks on foreigners.

President Jacob Zuma condemned
the violence, which have claimed at least five lives, as “shocking”, and
called for calm to be restored.

The Zulu king has been accused of fuelling the attacks. He denies this.

Many jobless South Africans accuse foreigners of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%.

amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign
nationals and the looting of their shops,” President Zuma told
parliament on Thursday.

‘Beautiful sight’

marched through Durban chanting “Down with xenophobia” and “A United
Africa”, led by the city mayor and the premier of KwaZulu Natal

Marcher Vanessa Govender told the BBC: “It’s just a
mammoth show of support for all those foreigners who have fallen victim
to the past two weeks of xenophobic violence.”

As the march was held,
anti-immigrant protesters clashed with police, but were reportedly
dispersed by water cannon and pepper spray.

The latest wave of violence against foreigners erupted in the Durban area before spreading to other parts of the country.

Johannesburg on Thursday, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a
crowd chanting anti-immigrant slogans after attacks on foreign-owned
shops. Dozens of migrants sought refuge in a police station.

has said it would evacuate its nationals from South Africa and Kenya
says it is preparing to do the same. Mozambique has set up border camps
to cope with the exodus of its citizens.

Foreign nationals were seen closing up their shops near Johannesburg on Thursday

Some are seeking refuge from the violence in makeshift camps such as this one outside Durban

‘Hate speech’

Many foreigners, mostly from other African states and Asia, have moved to South Africa since white-minority rule ended in 1994.

At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks that swept South Africa in 2008.

government-backed South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is
investigating complaints of hate speech made against Zulu King Goodwill

He was widely quoted as saying last month that
foreigners should “go back to their countries”. However, he said that
his comments had been distorted.

Credit: BBC

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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