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Crime & Public Services1

Leaders meet to discuss xenophobia and violence in South Africa

Rampant looting and destruction of of foreign-owned businesses in Johannesburg

Nigerian government to take action to protect its citizens in Nigeria 

In the wake of the recent string of attacks on immigrants from other African countries, South Africa prepares to host leaders from across the continent For the World Economic Forum in Cape Town on September 4th. Also upcoming for South Africa is a scheduled state visit by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, whose nationals are being specifically targeted in South Africa. 

Violence broke out in Johannesburg Sunday, September 3rd and has currently spread. It has caused the destruction of more than 50 businesses owned by Africans from countries such as Nigeria and Somalia. Aside from the looting, shops and cars were also set ablaze.


The Nigerian government issued a statement on Twitter denouncing the continuing attacks on Nigerian nationals and businesses in South Africa, stating that it is taking measures to  ensure the safety and protection of its citizens.

This is not the first report of violence against African migrants in South Africa. In 2008, 60 people were killed while 50,000 for from their homes. In 2015, seven people also died in violence. Migrants are perceived to be threats to  these migrants are seen as threats 2 South African job and government aid 

Politicians, South Afrcan and Nigerian, alike have also spoken out against the violence. Conversely,  South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is yet to issue a public statement.

Similarly, South African truckers also began a strike, protesting against foreign truck drivers. 120 of these South African truckers in the Kwazulu-natal province were arrested for the possession of weapons, blocking roads, and also in connection with some attacks on trucks.

Zambia has also issued a warning to its truck drivers to stay out to avoid the country.

Zimbabwe also noted that trucks on the Zimbabwean side of the South African border have queued, reluctant to cross due to the unrest. 

Companies such as Anglogold Ashanti Limited, American PLC and Absa Group Limited have limited operations in South Africa this week. 

All in all, xenophobic comments in South Africa can also traced back to the ruling African National Congress who have in the past made statements against migrants. Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba also drew criticism for his frequent tirades on undocumented migrants. 




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