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South Africans killing other African Immigrants!
(CNN)— Shops looted and set ablaze. Terrified foreigners hiding in police stations and stadiums.Machete-wielding attackers hacking immigrants to death in major cities in South Africa.
As attacks against foreigners and their
businesses rage on, killing at least six people
this week, other nations in the continent are
scrambling to evacuate their citizens from South
Africa. But this is not the first time xenophobic
violence has exploded in a country that tries to
portray itself as a diverse "rainbow" nation.
What triggered this week's attacks?
They started after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini
said at a recent gathering that foreigners "should
pack their bags and go" because they are taking
jobs from citizens, local media reported.
Shortly after his comments, violence against
immigrants erupted in the port city of Durban.
His office has denied he made the comments ,
saying journalists misquoted him. While kings
are mostly ceremonial figures in the nation, they
are influential in their communities.
But the United Nations said the attacks started
in March after a labor dispute between citizens
and foreign workers.
Why are immigrants targeted?
Some citizens have accused African immigrants
of taking their already scarce jobs, undermining
businesses owned by locals and contributing to
a high crime rate. The nation's unemployment
rate is about 25%, according to government
But resentment over porous borders, growing
crime rates, poverty and corruption are also a
major concern, analysts say.
President Jacob Zuma has said his government
is addressing the social and economic concerns.
But he said immigrants contribute to the
nation's economy and bring skills that are in
demand, and should not be stereotyped as
"While some foreign nationals have been arrested
for various crimes, it is misleading and wrong to
label or regard all foreign nationals as being
involved in crime in the country," Zuma said.
How many immigrants are in South Africa?
The nation has about 2 million documented and
undocumented immigrants , which is about 4% of
the total population, according to a study by the
University of the Witwatersrand.
Zimbabweans make up the largest group of
Also, South Africa is a top travel destination for
wealthy Africans because of its proximity and
Has South Africa had xenophobic attacks
Yes. This is the latest in a series of attacks that
date back years.
In January, looters burned businesses owned by
foreigners in another wave of xenophobic
attacks. In addition, there were other incidents of
violence last year, Human Rights Watch said.
Seven years ago, Johannesburg was the
epicenter of more anti-immigrant tensions that
left dozens dead in attacks that later spread to
Cape Town. Most of the victims were
Zimbabweans who had fled repression and dire
economic circumstances. In those attacks, police
arrested more than 200 people on various
charges, including 🤬 , murder, robbery and
In 2006, xenophobic violence broke out again for
several months in Cape Town.
What are other African nations doing about it?
Victims of xenophobic attacks have been from
various African nations, including Nigeria,
Somalia and Ethiopia.
African nations have condemned the attacks.
Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe are just a few of
the countries evacuating their citizens from
In Zambia, local radio station QFM said it will
not play South African music in solidarity with
And in Mozambique, South African energy and
chemical giant Sasol sent about 340 South
African nationals home. The company said
Mozambican employees voiced concern about
reported violence against their nationals and
protested the presence of South African
employees in Mozambique.
Is inequality a contributing factor?
Most of the attacks have erupted in poor and
Despite the progress the nation has made since
its apartheid days, inequality still remains a
major concern , according to the Nelson Mandela
"It is up to the present and next generations to
take up the cudgels where you (Mandela) have
left off. It is up to them, through service to
deepen our democracy; entrench and defend our
constitution; eradicate poverty; eliminate
inequality; fight corruption, and serve always
with compassion, respect, integrity and
tolerance," the foundation said in a statement.
"Xenophobia, racism and sexism must be fought
with tenacity, wisdom and enlightenment."
As fears of more attacks grow, South Africans
have taken to social media and the streets to
protest xenophobia and violence.
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