Kenyans flee Pretoria after fresh round of deadly attacks erupt

Cheryl Sanders
February 26, 2017

Uche Ajulu-Okeke while visiting Nigerian victims of Xenophobia, has described the recent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians and other foreigners in that country as unfortunate.

"Many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law abiding and contribute to the economy of the country positively", Zuma said.

"It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers".

It cited recent reports of violence in Pretoria and hate speech on social media. Police fired tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon to disperse rival marches by hundreds of citizens and non-nationals.

The marches follow the looting this week of at least 20 small businesses believed to belong to Nigerian and Pakistani immigrants.

South Africa's national flag was burnt at the High Commission in Abuja by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) on Thursday.

President Jacob Zuma called for calm following Friday's march against crime in Pretoria that resulted in locals and immigrants clashing.

South Africa's unemployment rate is above 25 percent.

He said citizens can not co-exist with crime, criminals - whether they are South Africans or foreign nationals - must be dealt with harshly but within the ambit of the law.

Nigerians in South Africa are in a bad state of affairs, and that country's government should be confronted and held to account.

According to the Minister, the Catholic Bishops Conference in South Africa had condemned the xenophobic attacks.

" The garage employed 26 Nigerians and six South Africans and was doing very well", she said. Foreigners who armed themselves with clubs in order to defend their property were zealously rounded up by the South African cops.

Two years ago, similar xenophobic unrest in the cities of Johannesburg and Durban claimed seven lives as African immigrants were hunted down and attacked by gangs.

"They confirmed to the union that some South Africans were calling and threatening to unleash more mayhem against them". Neither MTN nor DSTV could be held responsible for the actions of thugs on South African streets anymore than Nigerian banks operating in South Africa could be blamed for drug trafficking by crooked businessmen.

"We are fed up with people bringing drugs to the youth and the crimes that go with it", said a South African marcher who declined to be named. He added that since his arrival in South Africa, back in 2005, he has remained steadfast, and today ekes out a living by acting as an agent for people and businesses who are looking to buy and sell used jewellery.

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