A fresh wave of xenophobic violence erupted during the week in Durban and its environs in the Kwazulu Natal province of South Africa.
Durban became the focal point on Tuesday of clashes between police, foreigners and locals, with a car set alight, stun grenades and tear gas canisters being fired, and crowds taunting police by banging on the shutters of shops and running away as police approached to investigate.
Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said earlier a group of foreigners were allegedly throwing stones at passing vehicles, people and at the police in the CBD. Five people have died since Friday, starting with two Ethiopians who were petrol bombed in the container they slept in and ran their small business from.
Fearful Foreign Nationals
At least 10 Nigerians are now hospitalized while 25 shops owned by Nigerians have been massively looted following attacks by organised gangs in South Africa.
What triggered the recent violence on foreigners have been attributed to events that have happened below.
The attacks came days after King Goodwill Zwelithini publicly said immigrants should “pack their bags and leave” the country.
Similar statements have been made by President Jacob Zuma‘s son Edward.
Shops belonging to foreigners were looted in Durban’s Umlazi township, KwaZulu-Natal.
As foreign nationals marched in protest, police kept at bay a group of South Africans who were chanting: “They are dogs who must go home.”
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of the Nigerian Traders Union has raised concerns about the unending attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
President Zuma says government needs to reconsider its policy on how to deal with refugees.
President Jacob Zuma issued a directive on Tuesday to protect all human life as police had running battles with looters and angry foreign nationals in Durban.
Petrified Foreign Nationals Look On
South African authorities will need to do much more if impunity for xenophobic violence and other relating long-standing human rights violations are to be effectively combatted, Amnesty International-South Africa has said on Tuesday.
Widespread attacks against refugees, migrants and their businesses most recently in the Durban area have finally triggered some action from government officials.
In the past two weeks, at least four people have been killed, many others seriously injured, shops looted and over 1 000 people displaced in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province. “We acknowledge that the police are conducting arrests.
However, the authorities must launch full, transparent and independent investigations, and bring suspected perpetrators to account,” said Sicel’mpilo Shange-Buthane, executive director of Amnesty International-South Africa.
“The prevailing culture of impunity must be stopped.” Amnesty International has repeatedly appealed to the South African government, including in January this year, to develop a systematic plan involving the police and other agencies to prevent and protect refugees from targeted attacks. – Amnesty International-South Africa.