The country recently witnessed a resurgence of intense public violence in the form of shop looting, burning property, and angry demonstrations.
Out of the 12 people that have lost their lives in ongoing looting and xenophobic violence, ten of them were South African, said Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.
Mapisa-Nqakula was briefing the media on behalf of justice and security cluster ministers in parliament on Tuesday, following a week of violent protests and looting in Gauteng and the Johannesburg CBD specifically.
“Incidents of violence flared up but were quickly dealt with around Jeppestown and Hillbrow. Ten people died on Sunday, bringing the total amount of fatalities to 12, 10 of which are South Africans and two are foreign nationals,” she said in a statement.
Although not new, the country recently witnessed a resurgence of intense public violence in the form of shop looting, burning property, and angry demonstrations.
The public outcry relates to a significant portion of the population blaming foreign nationals for socio-economic problems facing South Africa. This despite little evidence pointing to the fact that foreign nationals are the driving force behind problems such as crime and unemployment, according to Steven Gordon’s article in The Conversation.
The problem is somewhat exacerbated by the response of politicians, such as ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule denying the existence of xenophobia in South Africa. Instead, he blamed the violence on “acts of criminality”, further describing some of the acts as “tribal battles”.
EFF leader Julius Malema weighed in by tweeting to his followers to rather direct their anger at white monopoly capital, instead of “our African brothers and sisters”.
The situation in South Africa even prompted private Nigeria airline Air Peace Airlines to volunteer to evacuate Nigerian nationals from the country, free of charge.
A soccer game due to take place in South Africa between Zambia and Bafana Bafana was also called off.
Recent indications point to a fresh wave of xenophobic violence now spreading from Gauteng to Cape Town.
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