Accessibility links

Situation Tense in Durban as Xenophobic Attacks Continue

  • Blessing  Zulu

Migrants in Cape Town's Mannenberg community demonstrate against xenophobia. (UTERS/Mike Hutchings)

The situation remains tense in Durban after the port city was hit by violence directed against foreigners living in South Africa.

Thousands of foreign nationals from Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somalia have been displaced following the xenophobic attacks.

Close to 2,000 foreigners are being housed in three temporary makeshift camps.

According to police spokesman Thulani Zwane, four people have died in the violence, but some media reports put the figure at six. A total of 17 people have been arrested in the last two weeks.

Zimbabwe's consul-general in South Africa, Henry Mukonoweshuro, told SABC news that diplomatic ties between South Africa and Zimbabwe will not be affected by the on-going xenophobic attacks in the greater Ethekwini metropolitan municipality.

There have been reports of attacks in Umlazi, Kwamashu, Inanda and Siyanda. Durban head of provincial government communications, Thami Ngwenya, said the situation is tense but stable.

Human rights campaigner China Ngobese says the attacks on foreigners are worrying.

Durban-based Zimbabwean, Blessed Murandu, who also says the situation remains tense.

Last year the South African Human Rights Commission said the term xenophobia, which has been used to describe the violence against foreigners, should be called afrophobia as Africans seem to be targeted.