Offshoots of the latest xenophobic incidents in South Africa’s city of Johannesburg has sparked off citizen reactions in some African countries – specifically in Zambia, Nigeria and Ethiopia.
Concerned Zambians plan protest
A group of concerned citizens in Zambia have written to the police with notice of a peaceful march and gathering at the premises of the South African Embassy in the capital Lusaka.
The group said the march was “to show displeasure to the South African government for the horrific conduct exhibited by their citizens and complacent approach their government has taken.
The march planned for September 4 it added: “is in no ways intended to cause any harm but just to communicate our concerns and observations,” the statement added. Clearance has yet to be given.
Ethiopia Embassy cautions citizens in SA – FANA report
The Ethiopian Embassy in South Africa advised Ethiopians to distance themselves from any confrontation and conflict until the current situation is stabilized.
It also advised them not to wear expensive jewelries and if possible, to close their shops, until peace is restored.
The Embassy also called on them to report any suspicious activity to police or to contact the embassy using telephone numbers 012 346 42 57 and 012 346 29 47.
Nigerians plan business retaliation
Nigeria’s government in a statement condemned the violence of Monday September 2 but citizens on social media have severally condemned the violence and called for drastic action.
A 2017 video of South Africa’s former Deputy Police Minister, Bongani Mkongi, shared by a local portal, The Signal Nigeria, has got Nigerians rattled.
Tweeps are calling for an economic boycott that could adversely affect South African business interests in Nigeria. Already there are calls for boycott of among others, MTN, Shoprite, DSTv and Stanbic bank.
A number of people are, however, quick to point out that the boycott will affect mostly Nigerians because most employees of these outlets are locals.
WATCH | “You won’t find South Africans in other countries dominating a city up to 80%… we cannot surrender South Africa to foreign nationals.” ~ South Africa Deputy Minister of Police Bongani Mkongi #XenophobicAttacks #Xenophobia pic.twitter.com/vSUwzytRv9
— SIGNAL (@thesignalng) September 2, 2019
I am pleased that @GeoffreyOnyeama has taken a tough stand against #Xenophobia by #SouthAfrica, a country Nigeria fought hard to free from apartheid. President @MBuhari must ensure that the lives & businesses of Nigerians there are as safe as those of #SouthAfricans here. Enough! https://t.co/FUW4ZQLkNw
— Dr. Joe Abah (@DrJoeAbah) September 3, 2019
It is an irony that, a fellow black person would chase another black person like a hunter, chasing a rabbit on the field and burned people alive with no remorse whatsoever! The action I saw on TV is barbaric, mind burgling and disturbing. #SayNoToXenophobia #XenophobicAttack
— Saleh Shehu Ashaka (@AshakaSaleh) September 3, 2019
How did the South African government deal with perpetrators of the past xenophobic attacks? I have no proper understanding of the driver of this spate of killings of foreigners, but I believe the government didn’t do enough to prevent recurrences.Loading...
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) September 2, 2019
It Starts With U
* Just Broke my MTN sim
* Will never Shop at ShopRite
* Stanbic is a dead end
* No longer Subscribn to DSTV
Change begins with me. We need to send a msg to South Africa since Nign Leaders are too Stupid to do anything. pic.twitter.com/D0U4mSIKav
— Ink_Hart (@rizzza) September 2, 2019
How many 🇳🇬 Nigerians are ready to #BoyCottSouthAfrica or #boycottsouthafricanbusinessesinNigeria IMMEDIATELY! Post a receipt here!
Endless list of 🇿🇦 business in🇳🇬@DStvNg @DStv @MTNNG @Shoprite_NG @flySAA_US pic.twitter.com/g4Z9Re0Lxu
— Kayode Ogundamisi (@ogundamisi) September 3, 2019
On this Xenophobic attacks in SA. Nig govt acting like that big brother you report a bully to but he's also afraid of confronting the bully! Just ridiculous. #SayNoToXenophobia
— Ronke Giwa Onafuwa (@RonkeGiwa1) September 3, 2019
The Unfortunate reality is that Nig& Nigerians have more to lose if South African Owned Businesses close in Nigeria than South Africa as a Country. also Nigerians have more to lose if Nigerian Owned Businesses Close in South Africa than SA and South Africans
— Zulqy™ (@zulqy77) September 3, 2019
September 2 Johannesburg violence
Looting and violence spread across several neighbourhoods in the major cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg. It followed a spate of overnight attacks which appeared to target foreign-owned shops.
At least 50 shops were looted and burned in the southern Johannesburg suburbs of Malvern and Jeppestown. Police fired rubber bullets at looters as burnt cars were stranded on the roads.
Bheki Cele, South African Police Minister said: “For me, it’s pure criminality, people looting and all that, and using that as xenophobia. But for now there is nothing that has sparked any form of conflict between South Africans and foreign nationals.
“We dealing with criminality rather than xenophobia at the present moment,” he added.
Police arrested 41 people for the violence in Johannesburg, while 8 others were arrested in Tembisa township, east of Johannesburg, and one person arrested in the capitol Pretoria, police said.
Monday’s violence followed similar incidents in Pretoria last week, in which protests led by taxi drivers saw several foreign-owned shops looted and torched.
Such violence breaks out sporadically in South Africa, where many nationals blame foreigners for high unemployment, particularly in manual labor.
Last week, Human Rights Watch reported that dozens of truck drivers in the country had died in attacks against foreigners since March 2018.
The report was released following recent spate of xenophobic violence fueled by economic decline and record unemployment.