Disturbance raised on Xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Nigeria recalls its ambassador following recent xenophobic violence

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Foreigners in South Africa have been browned off xenophobic attacks which caused a death toll of seven Nigerians.

At least 400 Zimbabweans left South Africa following the attacks on foreign nationals.

After the foreigners were blamed for taking residents’ jobs by South African Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini Kabhekuzulu in a speech held on March 20, the migrants have become target.

The latest victim, a court interpreter, had intervened when he saw two officers allegedly harassing a boy near a tuckshop in Setlopo village in Mafikeng, North West province, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).

"After the police had finished talking to the boy, the complainant called the boy to advise him about what to do should he feel that he was treated badly by the police," IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said.

The police officers then called the man over to confront him about what he had told the boy. "The driver grabbed the complainant by the neck and asked him if he knew what police were capable of these days," Dlamini continued. "The policeman allegedly drove off and dragged the complainant for about a 100 metres."

The man suffered injuries to his feet and was taken to hospital by a neighbour. A 36-year-old sergeant was arrested and charged with attempted murder on Friday.

The case was postponed until Wednesday for a formal bail application.

South Africa's police ministry condemned the incident. Spokesman Zweli Mnisi told SABC radio news: "This is an embarrassment ... it is disgusting."

“Property has been destroyed and the violence created fear and uncertainty in the minds of African migrants,” said the statement published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria.

Nigeria's ambassador in Pretoria, South Africa's capital, and the consul general in Johannesburg, the economic hub, returned to Nigeria for consultations.

Hundreds of Zimbabwean nationals also took a night at a camp set up in Beitbridge border and are expected to head to Zimbabwe on Tuesday feared from the xenophobic attacks in the city of Durban.

Soldiers have been deployed to volatile areas in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to quell anti-immigrant violence that has killed at least seven people in several weeks of unrest, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, South Africa's defence minister has said.

"We come in as the last resort, the army will serve as a deterrent against the crime that we see," Mapisa-Nqakula told reporters, declining to give details on how many troops would be involved.
"There are people who will be critical but those who are vulnerable will appreciate this decision," she said.

"Now we [are] deploying because there is an emergency," she added.

Although the violence is expected to calm down after the police intervention, migrants feel uncomfortable and the migration will continue until stability is achieved by government. Nigeria blames South Africa for all the chaos and asks for compensation for all the victims.

“It is no more a problem between Nigeria and South Africa. It is the problem of all Africans,” says Abdulbaqi Jari, in The Guardian.

TRTWorld and agencies