Displaced foreign nationals in Durban, whose shops and homes have been looted, are calling on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene.
They have gathered in an open park near a police station in Sydenham after fleeing their homes in Sydenham.
Displaced foreign nationals representative, Doborah Nkokga says they believe a statement by the President sparked the attacks.
He said at the launch of the African National Congress’s election manifesto that government will take tough measures against undocumented foreigners who are illegally trading.
Nkoga says it appears as if the attackers interpreted it as meaning that foreigners must be chased out of the country.
“I think we must tell the president please stop these, president Cyril Ramaphosa was talking on the news telling people that he don’t care who you are and where you come from but he is gonna sort out anyone who come here illegally. Only those must go home. I even have a video of the president. I am sure that because of his words the people just took the presidents words to do these things. The president was talking about illegally but these people did not understand.”
Meanwhile the eThekwini Municipality Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer visited the affected foreign nationals this. She says the president’s speech has been misinterpreted by opportunistic elements.
“Some of our members had removed the foreign nationals from their home at three AM in the morning. I would not call it xenophobic violence here of this nature. So I would say its more of criminal element. Its not xenophobic attack which has been administered here. Our president was misconstrued, its not something that he would say. Its misguided information. That opportunistic people are doing this. And I would want them to stop saying such insinuations that our president had said.”
Metro Police together with South African Police Service moved quickly to quell protests that occurred last night & today in Springfield area.
These are believed to be instigated by residents upset about foreign-owned shops.
Patrols will continue to monitor situation. pic.twitter.com/9BHCmrzTlE
— eThekwini Muni (@eThekwiniM) March 25, 2019
The Zambia High Commission in Pretoria says it concerned about reported attacks of foreign nationals living in South Africa.
“We have noted with deep concern reports of what appears to be sudden rise of xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals living in South Africa,” the statement reads.
It adds that “Because of xenophobic attacks that occurred in 2008, 2015 and 2016, it is imperative to raise immediate alarm as soon as credible information is received on such attacks.”
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