Anti-immigrant protesters in SA. photo credit:reuter

Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners being accused of criminal activity and taking jobs from locals.Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Friday acknowledged violence had flared up against foreigners this year, saying that “unfortunately, xenophobic violence is not new in South Africa.”

On Friday, police fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse marches by hundreds of anti-immigrant protesters in Pretoria, after mobs looted stores believed to belong to immigrants. More than 150 people were arrested.

Also, a Reuters witness said doors and windows were smashed in, and food and other items were strewn on the floor in stores believed to belong to immigrants in Jeppestown, an area in the central business district.

“We’ve been stuck inside here until the police came,” Abdul Ebrahim, a Somali shop owner, said after emerging from his store, where a number of his colleagues had barricaded themselves.

“No one told us what they were looking for,” he added when asked why the mob had attacked his shop.

At least one person was arrested.

Source: Naij

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