Xenophobia: National day of mourning postponed

A national day of mourning scheduled for Tuesday in South Africa in honour of those killed in a recent wave of xenophobic violence has been postponed, a government statement said.

”The planned National Day of Healing scheduled for Tuesday June 24 has been postponed,” said the statement by government spokesperson Themba Maseko.

He said that the postponement was ”to enable more planning to be done and to ensure that more people participate in events of the day”, adding that the government would set a new date soon.

At least 21 of the 62 people killed in the violence were South Africans.

The government described the violence as ”senseless.”

An earlier statement said that the day would not be a holiday but a ”day on which the public will be expected to pay its respects to those who lost their lives during the violence”.

A total of 1 300 violent incidents were reported and more than 1 000 people were arrested.

The violence broke out last month, with mobs attacking homes and looting immigrant-owned stores, especially around Johannesburg, the country’s economic capital where foreigners have become targets of complaints by locals about high unemployment and crime levels.

Thousands fled South Africa for their home countries, while about 30 000 are living in camps. — AFP



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