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Tribal king sparks deadly violence in South Africa

by 17/04/2015 17:02:00 0 comments 343 Views
Tribal king sparks deadly violence in South Africa
Xenophobic Attacks In South Africa
  • Anti-immigrant protests have been ongoing in South Africa for two weeks and at least five people have been killed
  • Foreign nationals have been loading trucks with their wares as they flee Johannesburg and neighbouring towns
  • Protesters are angry about foreigners in the country when unemployment is high and wealth isn't distributed equally
  • Immigrants wielding machetes have clashed with police as they hunt for locals that targeted foreign shop owners 

Immigrants wielding machetes have clashed with police as they hunt for locals that attacked foreign shop owners as violence continues to spread across South Africa.

Police fired rubber bullets and a stun grenade today to disperse a gang of immigrants who had armed themselves with machetes in a run-down district in Johannesburg. 

The country has been hit by a wave of violence against immigrants in the past fortnight. The foreigners have complained about a lack of protection and some have started to arm themselves and fight back. 

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Fighting back: Immigrants carrying machetes have clashed with police in a search for locals that attacked foreign shop owners in Durban

Fighting back: Immigrants carrying machetes have clashed with police in a search for locals that attacked foreign shop owners in Durban

On the move: Police officers fire rubber bullets as they disperse the gangs of African immigrants who have fought back in South Africa

On the move: Police officers fire rubber bullets as they disperse the gangs of African immigrants who have fought back in South Africa

Armed: An African immigrant, in a jumper and tracksuit bottoms, firmly grips a machete as violence continued to flare in South Africa

Armed: An African immigrant, in a jumper and tracksuit bottoms, firmly grips a machete as violence continued to flare in South Africa

The clashes came after at least 12 people were arrested overnight for allegedly trying to break into 'foreign-owned shops', according to police.

Protesters also set cars alight and clashed with police as they demanded workers from elsewhere in Africa and South Asia leave the country. 

Dozens of foreigners had to seek refuge at a police station where they stayed overnight. 

So far, five people are believed to have been killed in the violent protests which started two weeks ago in Durban, a key port on South Africa's Indian Ocean coast, spreading to Johannesburg. 

Violence flared days after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini said in remarks reported by local media that foreigners should 'take their bags and go'. 

In a recorded speech sent to a local broadcaster, he said: 'We must deal with our own lice' and complained about foreign-owned shops. He has since said his comments were misinterpreted. 

Gang: A group of immigrants brandishing machetes in a run-down area of Johannesburg prepare to defend themselves against the police

Gang: A group of immigrants brandishing machetes in a run-down area of Johannesburg prepare to defend themselves against the police

Unrest: The xenophobic violence that started in Durban two weeks ago has spread this week to Johannesburg and other areas of the country

Unrest: The xenophobic violence that started in Durban two weeks ago has spread this week to Johannesburg and other areas of the country

Addressing parliament in Cape Town on Thursday, President Zuma reiterated his condemnation of the violence, calling it a 'violation' of South Africa's values. 

'No amount of frustration or anger can ever justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops,' he said. 'We condemn the violence in the strongest possible terms. The attacks violate all the values that South Africa embodies.'

He also said the government was taking steps to secure its porous borders and making progress in setting up a Border Management Agency, announced last year and scheduled to be up and running in 2016.

Despite his pleas, hundreds of South Africans jeered and insulted demonstrators who had gathered for a peace march in the city of Durban after days of violence.

Menacing: An immigrant holds his machete to his face as gangs clashed with police following the outbreak of violence in South Africa

Menacing: An immigrant holds his machete to his face as gangs clashed with police following the outbreak of violence in South Africa

Smoke: A woman covered in soot gestures and shouts towards foreign nationals in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg today

Smoke: A woman covered in soot gestures and shouts towards foreign nationals in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg today

Chaos: Men from the Jeppie Hostles roll over a torched car in the middle of the street in Jeppestown, Johannesburg 

Chaos: Men from the Jeppie Hostles roll over a torched car in the middle of the street in Jeppestown, Johannesburg 

Divisions: A man with a hammer retrieves metal scraps from a burnt-out vehicle after foreign nationals torched a car in the early hours

Divisions: A man with a hammer retrieves metal scraps from a burnt-out vehicle after foreign nationals torched a car in the early hours

Aftermath: A man carries an axe as he walks past a burnt out car in Jeppestown after more unrest in the early hours of yesterday morning

Aftermath: A man carries an axe as he walks past a burnt out car in Jeppestown after more unrest in the early hours of yesterday morning

The ruling African National Congress party has condemned the attacks as 'shameful' and branded them 'criminal acts against vulnerable people'. 

The US ambassador to South Africa, born in Zaire - now the Democratic Republic of the Congo - to Haitian parents, spoke in defence of the immigrants.

'As an immigrant to my own country, my heart goes out to those who have been attacked for being different,' Patrick H. Gaspard said. 

In the past two weeks, shops and homes owned by Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and other immigrants in Durban and surrounding townships have been targeted, forcing more than 2,000 foreigners to flee to camps protected by armed guards. 

Foreign nationals living near Johannesburg had to remove items from their shops and shut up their stores because of fears they could be targeted by protesters.

They fled after a mobile phone text message was apparently sent to shop owners, warning them to shut their premises, claiming that 'Zulu people are coming to town... to kill every foreigner on the road'. 

Victim: Carol Lloyd was left injured and covered in blood after rocks were thrown at and shattered her car window following immigrant protests near Johannesburg in South Africa

Victim: Carol Lloyd was left injured and covered in blood after rocks were thrown at and shattered her car window following immigrant protests near Johannesburg in South Africa

Armed: South African police were called in to help foreign nationals as violent protests spread to Johannesburg, threatening more killings 

Armed: South African police were called in to help foreign nationals as violent protests spread to Johannesburg, threatening more killings 

People run for cover from a stun grenade and tear gas after a skirmish between locals and foreign nationals in Durban, South Africa

People run for cover from a stun grenade and tear gas after a skirmish between locals and foreign nationals in Durban, South Africa

A group of foreign nationals threaten to defend themselves as police get between them and South Africans after a peace march in Durban

A group of foreign nationals threaten to defend themselves as police get between them and South Africans after a peace march in Durban

In Actonville, South African men were seen singing, armed with clubs and pieces of wood, as they called for foreign shop owners to leave

In Actonville, South African men were seen singing, armed with clubs and pieces of wood, as they called for foreign shop owners to leave

Police responded to the violence in South Africa by firing tear gas grenades as they began to enter men's hostels to search for weapons 

Police responded to the violence in South Africa by firing tear gas grenades as they began to enter men's hostels to search for weapons 

Angry South Africans accuse immigrants of taking jobs in a country where unemployment and poverty levels are high - the official figure is 25 per cent but economists say, in reality, it is much higher.

South Africa has a population of about 50 million, but an estimated five million immigrants and its high jobless rate, widespread poverty and glaring income disparities make it a ripe candidate for outbreaks of anti-immigrant violence. 

Johannesburg was the epicentre of the 2008 xenophobic attacks that killed more than 60 people and saw violence spread through the area.  

The governments of Malawi and Zimbabwe have begun efforts to repatriate citizens affected by the attacks. 

 
Police entered hostels in Actonville in Johannesburg looking for weapons and are seen holding suspects at gunpoint

Police entered hostels in Actonville in Johannesburg looking for weapons and are seen holding suspects at gunpoint

A man is searched by a police officer for weapons as fear intensifies in Johannesburg over the violence towards foreign nationals 

A man is searched by a police officer for weapons as fear intensifies in Johannesburg over the violence towards foreign nationals 

The violence in South Africa has been condemned by leaders and officials as more foreigners are being forced to leave their stores and homes

The violence in South Africa has been condemned by leaders and officials as more foreigners are being forced to leave their stores and homes

Riot police, armed with guns, ammunition and wearing helmets have been clashing with protesters as they try to ensure safety

Riot police, armed with guns, ammunition and wearing helmets have been clashing with protesters as they try to ensure safety

A child looks out from inside a deserted store in Germiston, near Johannesburg after the immigrant owner removed his goods and left in fear of attack from local residents

A child looks out from inside a deserted store in Germiston, near Johannesburg after the immigrant owner removed his goods and left in fear of attack from local residents

Foreign nationals have been seen loading trucks with their goods as they flee Primrose, near Johannesburg to escape the violence

Foreign nationals have been seen loading trucks with their goods as they flee Primrose, near Johannesburg to escape the violence

Shop owners fearing for their lives have been seen emptying their stores while armed police officers stand guard to protect them

Shop owners fearing for their lives have been seen emptying their stores while armed police officers stand guard to protect them

Hundreds of people took part in a peace march after anti-immigrant violence flared in Durban. Meanwhile, foreigners fled their homes

Hundreds of people took part in a peace march after anti-immigrant violence flared in Durban. Meanwhile, foreigners fled their homes

Peace: Thousands of people took part in a peace march, calling for an end to the violence against immigrants in South Africa

Peace: Thousands of people took part in a peace march, calling for an end to the violence against immigrants in South Africa

A woman holds a poster while taking part in a peace march in Durban yesterday as the president calls for an end to the xenophobic violence

A woman holds a poster while taking part in a peace march in Durban yesterday as the president calls for an end to the xenophobic violence

A peace march against xenophobia took place in Durban yesterday as foreigners fled their homes and businesses in fear

A peace march against xenophobia took place in Durban yesterday as foreigners fled their homes and businesses in fear

Police have repeatedly clashed with protesters who are threatening violence, looting stores and setting fires in KwaMashu and Umlazi 

Police have repeatedly clashed with protesters who are threatening violence, looting stores and setting fires in KwaMashu and Umlazi 

Fleeing: Foreign nationals loaded up trucks with their belongings and made their way out of Johannesburg, fearing more attacks

Fleeing: Foreign nationals loaded up trucks with their belongings and made their way out of Johannesburg, fearing more attacks

Shelves have been left bare in one shop in the village of Primrose near Johannesburg after foreigners fled their homes and businesses 

Shelves have been left bare in one shop in the village of Primrose near Johannesburg after foreigners fled their homes and businesses 

A man carries bottles of drink that had been on sale in a store after foreign nationals decided to flee Primrose, fearing for their lives

A man carries bottles of drink that had been on sale in a store after foreign nationals decided to flee Primrose, fearing for their lives

Two men are pictured carrying a refrigerator as foreigners flee their homes and businesses as protesters make them fear for their lives

Two men are pictured carrying a refrigerator as foreigners flee their homes and businesses as protesters make them fear for their lives

Refuge: Earlier this week foreign nationals, who were forced out of their homes, took refuge at camps in Isipingo in south Durban

Refuge: Earlier this week foreign nationals, who were forced out of their homes, took refuge at camps in Isipingo in south Durban

Handouts: The foreigners, including children, were provided with food by the local community after they were threatened with violence

Handouts: The foreigners, including children, were provided with food by the local community after they were threatened with violence

Fear spread throughout South Africa after people received text messages warning them they would be attacked or killed if they stayed

Fear spread throughout South Africa after people received text messages warning them they would be attacked or killed if they stayed

Mobs have been seen marching through the streets shouting as they call for foreign nationals to leave and clash with police officers 

Mobs have been seen marching through the streets shouting as they call for foreign nationals to leave and clash with police officers 

 

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