Anti-migrant protests in South Africa turn violent

The South African First party was founded and registered with the Independent Electoral Commission. File

Meanwhile, on Monday Nigeria urged the African Union to step in and stop the attacks on its citizens and other Africans in South Africa.

The South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, called for collaboration with the South African government and major stakeholders in Nigeria to find a lasting solution to the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians.

"They could have come here and say, "Shut down this place; you can no longer operate" but not to attack Nigerians who work here and those who came here to fix their phones is unfortunate".

Local police has had to use rubber bullets, water, and tear gas to disperse a local protest against immigration in Mamelodi, a suburb of Pretoria.

South Africa police spokeswoman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters added that the destroyed shops were being used to sell drugs. "Homes and shops of Nigerians were targeted and looted in the events of the past few days", Emeka Ezinteje Collins, Nusa's national public relations officer told Al Jazeera, citing at least 10 such attacks.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Clement Aduku, who addressed the protesting students, appealed for calmness, saying the Federal Government was constructively engaging the South African government over the issue.


South Africa is known for spontaneous xenophobic attacks as locals blame foreigners for taking their jobs and general insecurity. Instances of xenophobia against foreign African nationals have been occurring in the country since before democratization in 1994.

South Africa will amend its laws to allow expropriation of land without compensation for owners as it tries to speed up the redistribution of land to its black majority, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday. She described the situation as "unfortunate" and has made plans to take care of Nigerian women and children. "Let us isolate those who commit such crimes and work with government to have them arrested, without stereotyping and causing harm to innocent people", the president said in a statement. "We are not condoning violence, but it will be wrong not to reflect the concerns of South Africans, especially with regard to drug trafficking".

Alhaji Muntaka, who is also a member of the South African base Pan African Parliament, expressed wonder why the reoccurrence of the attacks despite the bold inscription of "one people, one voice, one nation; I am because you are", in the Pan Africa Parliament building in South Africa.

He advised Nigerians in South Africa to remain calm and law-abiding and assured them that everything would be done to protect them and their properties.

"The union has reported the incident to the Nigeria mission and South African police".

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