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South Africans resist xenophobia


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By Akpo Ometan, with Agency reports

Despite what many consider to be the less than satisfactory response of South African President, Jacob Zuma, scores of ordinary South Africans have in the port city of Durban staged rallies against the latest wave of xenophobic attacks in the former apartheid enclave.

Almost 5,000 people took part in the rally against xenophobia in the coastal city of Durban following attacks on foreigners. 

Officially, President Jacob Zuma has condemned the recent attacks, in which at least five people have died, as “shocking and unacceptable”. The Zulu king has been accused of fuelling the violence. He has however posted a disclaimer.

Many jobless South Africans accuse foreigners of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%. “No amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops,” President Zuma told parliament on Thursday. He also urged that calm be restored in affected areas.

Protesters marched through Durban chanting “Down with xenophobia” and “A United Africa”, led by the city mayor and the premier of KwaZulu Natal province. Marcher Vanessa Govender told the BBC: “It’s just a mammoth show of support for all those foreigners who have fallen victim to the past two weeks of xenophobic violence.”

On its part, the Nigerian House of Representatives has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to recall Nigeria’s High Commissioner to that country in protest of the attacks which has allegedly affected several people from the West African nation.



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