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SA cops busy than ever #xenophobia

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Offline Dzokai Kumba

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SA cops busy than ever #xenophobia
« on: April 16, 2015, 06:48:49 AM »


SOUTH African police fought running battles with
hundreds of locals armed with knobkerries,
pangas and rocks in the port city of Durban
yesterday as a new wave of xenophobia showed
no signs of abetting. Durban’s CBD witnessed
most of the clashes between police, foreigners
and locals, with a car set alight, stun grenades
and tear gas canisters being fired.
Five people have died since Friday, starting with
two Ethiopians who were petrol-bombed in the
container they slept in and ran their small
business from.
No Zimbabwean deaths have so far been
reported.
Information, Media and Broadcasting Services
Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo yesterday said
Zimbabwe was watching with concern the
unfolding wave of violence which he said
appeared to be targeted at black Africans.

Whereas most media commentators have
identified the violence as “xenophobia” — a hatred
of foreigners — Prof Moyo used the word
“Afrophobia”, which is a hatred of other Africans.
He warned that xenophobia could “easily mutate”
into genocide.
“Xenophobia today can easily mutate into
genocide tomorrow. Stop It,” the minister said on
Twitter, using the hashtag #
AfrophobiaInSAMustEnd.
Prof Moyo also took aim at Zulu King Goodwill
Zwelithini, whose call for “foreigners to leave”
appeared to have inflamed the latest anti-
foreigner sentiment in KwaZulu Natal Province,
whose capital is Durban.
“King Zwelithini must extinguish what he ignited.
Xenophobia is a crime against humanity,” Prof
Moyo tweeted in one of the first public reactions
from a Zimbabwe Government official to the
violence that has horrified many Zimbabweans.
Reports from South Africa said a crowd of about
700 people gathered at the end of Monty Naicker
Road, where it intersects with Dr Yusuf Dadoo
Road, in the Durban CBD — taunting police and
baying for the blood of foreign nationals.
Police used water cannons and stun grenades to
control the crowds. Pictures of a man showing
injuries to his right leg circulated online with
claims that he had been shot by police using
rubber bullets.
As commuters headed home late in the afternoon,
sirens wailed throughout the seaside city and a
pall of smoke rose from the CBD.
Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said: “The police
are still monitoring the situation.”
When asked to clarify unconfirmed reports on
social media that a Pakistani national had been
shot, or had been set alight, he replied: “We heard
that there was a man injured but we cannot
confirm at this stage as no case has been
opened.” Rights group Amnesty International
called on South Africa authorities to “launch full,
transparent and independent investigations, and
bring suspected perpetrators to account.”
“The prevailing culture of impunity must be
stopped,” said Sicel’mpilo Shange-Buthane,
executive director of Amnesty International-South
Africa.
“Amnesty International has repeatedly appealed to
the South African government, including in
January this year, to develop a systematic plan
involving the police and other agencies to prevent
and protect refugees from targeted attacks,” he
added.
Zimbabwean consul-general Mr Batiraishe
Mukonoweshuro said: “Embassy officials arrived
in Durban today (yesterday) to work with the host
Government in identifying the affected people.
Logistics will also be worked to assist those,
including those without proper documentation,
who are willing to return home and also how
some can be integrated in communities willing to
accommodate them. If there are gross cases we
will be able to know them tomorrow.” The Durban
violence outbreak follows similar uprisings in
Soweto where foreign shops were looted and
foreigners displaced three weeks ago.
In 2008, in the worst violence to date against
foreigners, over a dozen people were killed –
some burnt alive through necklacing, a barbaric
slow-killing method in which a burning tyre is
placed around one’s neck.
At the time, President Thabo Mbeki – horrified by
the violence – said South Africans’ heads were
“bowed in shame”.
“We’ve always known that regardless of the
boundaries drawn by others to define us as
different and separate from our kith and kin, and
even despite our occupation of different spaces
across the divides occasioned by the existence of
the oceans that nature has formed, we share with
those of whom we are part, a common destiny,”
President Mbeki said.
South Africa is home to thousands of
Zimbabweans, many of them illegal residents.
Only last week, President Mugabe – on a State
visit to Zimbabwe’s southern neighbour –
thanked the South African government for its
“tolerance” shown to Zimbabwean immigrants
over the years.
“We owe you not just a gesture of thankfulness,
which we must express, but we owe you that
thankfulness for the tolerance there has been on
the part of the government here, as our people
have really offended your system by jumping the
border and disturbing even the social system
here,” the President said.
There have been calls by Zimbabweans on social
media for locals to boycott a show by Durban-
based group Big Nuz in protest against the
xenophobic violence. The group is due to perform
in Bulawayo on Friday.
Not everyone agrees with a boycott. One Twitter
user shot back: “Might as well boycott all SA
products in Zimbabwean shops over xenophia
while you’re at it #slipperyslope.”
Another user @patphiri said: “So are people also
going to boycott #SABC soapies/ SA PSL/ SA
booze or #BigNuz are the fall guys?”
Meanwhile, Prof Moyo also hit back at ANC
secretary-general Gwede Mantashe’s criticism of
President Mugabe’s treatment of whites, saying
Zimbabwe did not agree with the ANC’s view on
blacks.
Prof Moyo tweeted a link to a story headlined
“We differ with Mugabe on whites: Mantashe” and
commented: “And we differ with ANC on blacks!”
“In Zanu-PF we reject Afrophobia,” Prof Moyo
said in another tweet.
His comments were in reaction to Mantashe’s
claim on Monday that the ANC “theorises
colonialism differently to Zanu-PF” and has no
desire to “drive white people into the sea”.

 

Shame South Africa #xenophobia

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#xenophobia #afrophobia #genocide

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