Malawians are among scores of foreign nationals who are affected in a new wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Police fired rubber bullets yesterday in Johannesburg and Pretoria as they struggled to stop looters that had over-run businesses owned by Nigerians, Somalis, Zimbabweans, Malawians and other African nationals, according to online and published reports.
The latest outbreak of xenophobic attacks has attracted criticism from several African nations, especially Nigeria as political and business leaders from at least 28 countries were gathering ahead of the Africa Edition of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town tomorrow and before a state visit to South Africa by President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.
Malawi Government officials have so far chosen to remain silent. The Nigerian government, however, says on twitter posts that enough is enough and that it will take definite measures to ensure the safety and protection of its citizens.
In 2008 and 2015, the government of Malawi provided convoys of buses to bring back home scores of people who were made destitute in xenophobic attacks.
In other violence against foreigners, reports say South Africans are setting fire to trucks with registrations of Malawi and other African states.
“We are not safe here my friend, my shop is gone by the looters, we are now scared about our lives,” says Joseph Mzinza, a Malawian running his business in Johannesburg.
Another Malawian national-based there had witnessed Foreign fuel tankers being manhandled by rioters who had blocked roads.
The South African government has since condemned the attacks.
In a statement, the government has described the protests as unlawful and ordered the law enforcement to deal with the demonstrators without fear or favour.
South Africans have been accusing
Malawians and other African nationals of competing with them for jobs and government-provided social services.
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