South Africa struggles to halt anti-immigrant violence

Business capital Johannesburg sees second night of clashes as locals continue to target shops owned by foreigners.

Clashes and looting targeting immigrants and shops owned by foreigners have continued in South Africa’s business capital, Johannesburg.

In a second day of the attacks in the city since xenophobic violence first broke out on March 30, police battled to maintain order over night in various districts in Gauteng province. 

Locals, carrying traditional weapons, protested against immigrants working in the country by setting cars on fire and a main motorway with rocks and rubble – not unfamiliar to protests behaviour in the country, local media reported on Friday.

Police responded with rubber bullets and by arresting violent protesters. Two people were reported to have been arrested, local media reported.

Meanwhile, workers at an international energy plant in Mozambique have refused to work, in solidarity with foreign workers hit by a wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, as a second night of sporadic looting against immigrants continued in the southern most African country.

Anti-immigrant violence spreads in South Africa

In the first such incident among South Africa’s neighbouring countries, Alex Anderson, Sasol’s spokeperson, said on Thursday that workers at the company’s natural gas central processing plant in Temane‚ Inhambane, also feared reprisalS for the attacks taking place in South Africa, local media reported.

Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Mozambique’s international relations minister, told her African counterparts the South African government will put an end to xenophobia for good.

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from Johannesburg said, “there is little to stem the fear of migrants in South Africa today, no matter what politicians here and across the continent say.”

In neighbouring Zimbabwe, police were involved in minor clashes with dozens of protesters demonstrating at the South African embassy against the anti-immigrant attacks on Friday.

Protesters handed over a petition to embassy officials demanding an end to the violence in South Africa.

Click on the image below to learn more about xenophobia in South Africaundefined

Source: News Agencies