By Stanley Karombo JOHANNESBURG South
Africa (Xinhua) -- Xenophobic attacks
have reared ugly heads in South Africa, leaving a trail of
destruction of foreigners’ shops and business.
As of last week, 20
shops and businesses belonging to non-South Africans were burnt
to ashes after the outbreak of the violence. These sporadic
violent attacks have led to foreigners living in fear.
Meanwhile, foreigners are putting the blame on mayor of
Johannesburg Herman Mashaba’s doorstep.
“Whether you are
South African or someone from outside, please respect our laws
when you are in our city. Our law enforcement agencies deal with
cases on a daily basis of students being robbed and when they
find (the people), they find them with no papers whatsoever,”
Mashaba allegedly said.
That speech was a
spark ignition to the flares that started attacks on foreigners.
Sharon Ekambaram, head of refugee and migrant rights at Lawyers
for Human Rights, which forms part of the coalition accused
Mashaba of being unreasonable and irresponsible.
“It is really
irresponsible of politicians to incite this kind of violence and
we lay the responsibility for violence at his door,” she told
“Even up to now
there is a lot of fear among African immigrants, given that on
the streets there are continuous messages flowing, indicating
that xenophobia is still something alive,” she added.
have arrested more than 130 people after using stun grenades,
rubber bullets, tear gas and the water cannon to disperse some
violent South Africans.
Crispen Chinguno, a
sociology lecturer at the University of Witswaterand said,” The
underlying socioeconomic problems in the country, trigger for
increased competition for employment, basic social services, and
business opportunities within and between various communities.”
He noted that South
Africa is failing to secure a proper job. “It is not surprising
that scores of youths were able to conduct violent campaigns in
informal settlements. Unemployment was, therefore, a direct
contributing cause to the violence.”
Among some of the
issues that cause South African to be violent was the
government’s failure to meet service delivery provision, which
is a far cry to meet expectations of a better life for all.
“A policy failure is
again at the heart of the problem as the state took it upon
itself to provide services and jobs and thereby tied households
to its ability to deliver,” Chinguno added.
Stanford Mahati, a
lecturer in African Centre for Migration and society at
Witwatersrand, said the South African government has to fix its
system is an example of policy failures. In this case, poor
education compounded the inappropriate labor market policy which
in turn compounded the unemployment problem.”
South Africa is
currently facing a slow economic growth. International Monetary
Fund (IMF) expects the country’s gross domestic product (GDP)
growth to remain flat at 0.1 percent this year, noting that the
economy will only experience a modest recovery in 2017.
This is not the
first time that xenophobic attacks happened in South Africa.
Foreigners are still reminded of the flares of violence that
happened in 2015. The violence attacks on non-South African was
caused by Chief Goodwill Zwelithini, who reportedly said: “We
urge all foreigners to pack their bags and leave.”
The violence spread
its wings to other parts of the province and to Johannesburg.
Businesses were looted, homes wrecked, and thousands of
foreigners forced to flee and seek refuge in makeshift camps.
Most of those affected were from Malawi, Zimbabwe, Somalia and
the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nigerian Senate to send
delegation to S. Africa over xenophobic attacks
(Xinhua) -- The Nigerian Senate has resolved to send
a delegation to South Africa to discuss ways of ending the
xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other African nationals
in that country.
A statement by the government said the
Senate resolved at its plenary on Tuesday to engage the South
African parliament in a serious discussion over the condemnable
Nigeria’s Senate leader Bukola Saraki
described the attacks as “sad and unfortunate,” saying the two
countries had always enjoyed an enviable relationship and must
not allow that to deteriorate.
The Senate said it had already
summoned the South African High Commissioner in Nigeria who also
confirmed the deadly attacks by some hoodlums.
The Nigerian parliament had also set
up a delegation to join the Senate and officials of the foreign
ministry on the factfinding and peaceful mission to South
The Nigerian government said more than
100 of its citizens had been killed during xenophobic attacks in
South Africa in the past two years.
The South African government had also
condemned the attacks in strong terms.
South African riot police arrest 156 as Xenophobic attacks