Xenophobic attacks continue in South Africa

In simple terms, South African blacks are attacking, killing and chasing out immigrant blacks from the country.  At least five people have died in anti-foreigner attacks in recent weeks. Migrants, mostly from other African states and Asia, have moved to South Africa in large numbers since white-minority rule ended in 1994. Many South Africans accuse them of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%. A crowd began looting foreign-owned shops in east Johannesburg recently. Foreigners are taking refuge in police stations.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has been accused of fuelling the attacks by saying that foreigners should “go back to their countries”. However, he said that his comments had been distorted. Amid fears of reprisal attacks, energy and chemical giant Sasol said it would repatriate more than 300 South Africans working in Mozambique. Official data suggests there are about about two million foreign nationals in South Africa, about 4% of the total population. But some estimates put the number of immigrants at five million.

Many South Africans are against the violence, but are also unhappy with the level of immigration and feel they are being undercut by immigrants from poorer countries, our correspondent adds. At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks in South Africa in 2008.

source: BBC

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