The attacks on foreign nationals in KwaZulu-Natal have sparked an outrage on social media, with many users condemning the xenophobic attacks.
On Sunday, it was reported that foreign-owned shops in the township of KwaMashu were looted and torched as locals attempted to drive out immigrants from other African states. Since then, the violence has escalated and tensions remain high as police try to keep the situation calm.
- Police Minister: KZN attacks are not just xenophobic
- Several dead as xenophobic violence boils over in Durban
On Tuesday, shops belonging to Ethiopian and Somalians in Durban’s West Street were looted. Tyres were burnt and police used teargas to disperse the mob.
Addressing journalists at a press conference in Parliament, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said he found it hard to view the attacks as just xenophobia. But many South Africans believe these are xenophobic attacks. Tweeting under different hashtags such as #NoToXenophobia, #WeAreAfrica, #Loveafrica South Africans expressed their views:
— It’s a Venda thing (@Senwamadi_KG) April 15, 2015
An attack on a fellow Afrikan is an attack on me. #NoToXenophobia
— Khanyi Kubheka (@NomceboKubheka) April 15, 2015
— Maps Maponyane (@MapsMaponyane) April 15, 2015
— Brand South Africa (@Brand_SA) April 14, 2015
I am an African. I will respect my fellow Africans. #NoToXenophobia
— Caitlin Doney (@CPT_Girl) April 15, 2015
— Nkanyezi Kubheka (@NkanyeziKubheka) April 14, 2015
— Dianne Hawker (@diannehawker) April 14, 2015
Let’s celebrate a united Africa.
— FRESH!!!! (@FRESHat5) April 14, 2015
As expected, many have blamed Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini for his remarks: “We urge all foreigners to pack their bags and leave”.
Bare your eyes on the initiator of #Xenophobia This man needs to be criminally charged!
— Siyanda Silvah (@Silvah_7) April 14, 2015
Zwelithini allegedly made the comments, which have sparked criticism, at a moral regeneration rally in Pongola, northern KwaZulu-Natal, a few weeks ago. President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, Edward Zuma also echoed the Kings sentiments that “foreigners needed to leave the country”.
Meanwhile, political and religious leaders are planning a peace march against violence directed at forign nationals.
— Jonsie ~ Sue-Anne (@JonsieQ) April 14, 2015