Xenophobia: South African president Jacob Zuma booed during visit to displaced persons camp - CVIEW NEWS

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Xenophobia: South African president Jacob Zuma booed during visit to displaced persons camp

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 Jacob Zuma in the middle

SOUTH African president Jacob Zuma was booed by a crowd of displaced foreigners yesterday when he visited them at a makeshift camp where they were relocated to in response to the xenophobic attacks sweeping across the country.
Over the last week, South Africa has been plagued with horrific xenophobic attacks in which hundreds of African migrants have been murdered in cold blood by armed mobs. President Zuma, who cancelled his trip to Indonesia to attend the Afro-Asia Summit to deal with the violence at home, visited some of the displaced migrants yesterday.
While at the camp where they were taken to and provided with police protection, President Zuma tried to sympathise with their plight and assure them of their safety. However, he was heckled by the refugees who have criticised his government for not doing enough to address the crisis and for being responsible for it in the first place.
At the meeting with some 1,400 foreigners waiting for repatriation, President Zuma said, “We will deploy police in every area to ensure safety.” However, did not take warmly to that promise and chanted, “No” in response.
In his speech to the displaced foreigners, President Zuma said the South African government was not chasing them away. He added that his government was committed to the safety of those foreign nationals, who choose to remain in South Africa.
He then handed over a cheque of about $4,100 from a local business for the upkeep of the camp but the gesture was also met with boos from the crowd. Even after Zuma left, local media reported that the displaced foreigners continued to protest against his visit, chanting, Go home.”
More than 30 people have been arrested within the last 24 hours, while violence spreads to other districts of South Africa’s financial capital, Johannesburg. Across the city, there are thousands of looted stores and the police are assisting foreign nationals locate to the safety of Alexandra, north of Johannesburg.
Overnight, looting and road blockages by anti-immigrant protesters were reported in Alexandra, Malvern, Thokoza, and Cleveland. On Saturday, a Mozambiqucan national, identified as Emmanuel Sithole, died of his injuries after he was attacked by men during violence in Alexandra.
Lt Col Lungelo Dlamini, Gauteng police spokesperson, said: “We believe these are pure criminal acts. People are taking advantage of the situation and then they are robbing small business.”
For more than a week now, there have been murderous attacks on Africans living in South Africa as armed gangs go about attacking them in cities like Durban, Pretoria and Johannesburg. With South Africa’s economy in a downward spiral, local have taken their frustrations out on fellow Africans and dozens of migrants have been murdered on the streets in cold blood.

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