Friday, February 24, 2017

Xenophobic attacks: Nigerian Consulate in South Africa releases hotlines


Photo credit: James Hall (Twitter)
The Consulate General of Nigeria in Johannesburg has released two hotlines dedicated to reports on any xenophobic attacks on citizens.

In a public notice to all Nigerians in South Africa, the Consulate gave the numbers as 0027 (0) 731049643 and 0027(0) 632115615.

The Consulate urged all Nigerians and Nigerian groups to take note of the numbers.

Photo credit: NAN
Meanwhile, as more anti-immigration protests erupted in South Africa, police have been deployed in key cities.

According to the twitter handle of Newsroom daily, many protesters have hit the streets.

Reports say that some shops and houses have been touched.

Chris Gibson‏@ChrisGibsonNews reported:

“Follows torching of dozens of shops and houses owned by immigrants,” he tweeted on Friday.

Also Africa Review reports also that the police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up clashes between local South African protesters and migrants in Pretoria on Friday.

The protesters which obtained police permit to carry out their rally staged a march as promised against immigrants.

According to Africa Review, shops and homes owned by foreigners have been looted and torched in recent weeks.

Some South Africans alleged that the properties torched were brothels and drug dens.

“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.

Attacks against foreigners had erupted regularly in recent years, fuelled by South Africa’s high unemployment and poverty levels.

Police formed lines to keep apart 500 protesters as tensions rose between some South Africans and migrants from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere.

As the stand-off continued, Mr Clement Melfort, 26, a migrant from Zimbabwe who had come to see the march told AFP: “We are not afraid of fighting.”

President Jacob Zuma has condemned the latest wave of xenophobic unrest, saying that there had been “threats of violence and acts of intimidation and destruction of property directed at non-nationals”.

“Residents in some communities blame non-nationals for the escalating crimes especially drug trafficking,” the presidency said in a statement on Friday.

President Zuma called for South Africans not to blame migrants for the country’s widespread crime problems, but said the government would crack down on drug-dealing and illegal immigrants.

At least 20 stores in Pretoria owned by foreigners were looted on Tuesday, but police could not confirm that the attacks had deliberately targeted foreigners.

“Many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law abiding and contribute to the economy of the country positively. It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers,” Zuma said in a statement.

“The threats and counter-threats on social media must stop,” he added.

In Nigeria, protesters on Thursday demanded that South African citizens and businesses leave the country and vandalised one of the offices of mobile phone giant MTN in Abuja, in retaliation for anti-Nigerian violence in South Africa.

NAN
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