SOUTH AFRICA –
IMMIGRANT business owners in Johannesburg, South Africa, have closed their businesses, fearing attacks on immigrants in Durban, may be extended to the capital city.
At least five people were killed in a wave of violence against foreigners in Durban, while thousands more were driven out of their homes in the coastal city in the last one-week.
Although, no widespread violence has been reported in the city, but threatening messages have been circulating on social media as concerned residents have been issuing messages of their own, taking to the messaging app WhatsApp and SMS text messages to alert others to be vigilant.
More than 60 people were killed in xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg in 2008. The violence, mainly targeting South Africa’s immigrants (who make up 10% of the country’s population), is blamed largely on a general atmosphere of discontent, bred by high unemployment rates and rising inequality.
In an attack caught on video Wednesday by a South African journalist in Johannesburg, a taxi driver got into an altercation with an Ethiopian national. Indications are that the fracas was motivated at least in part by xenophobia: