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Social Media Helps Alert Zimbabweans on Xenophobic Attacks

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

The situation remains tense in Durban with fears of xenophobic attacks gripping Gauteng province in South Africa following the death of more than five people in the violence targeting foreigners.

In the port city of Durban, some foreigners have armed themselves with machetes and knives in an effort to protect themselves against marauding South Africans, who are at times burning people alive.

In the country’s largest business city, Johannesburg, most foreign-owned shops were closed for business today in fear of the xenophobic attacks as some local vigilante groups patrolled the street, ready to attack foreigners.

This comes at a time the government and ruling African National Congress party say the violence is being perpetrated by criminals.

Indications are that South Africans say foreigners are grabbing all local jobs and they also own most small businesses in all cities and towns, a situation they claim is discouraging the economic empowerment of black South Africans.

Social media is playing a central part in issuing alerts and informing Zimbabweans in South Africa where xenophobic attacks are happening.

Some Zimbabweans living in the diaspora are also planning to demonstrate at South African embassies in the following days to signal their disgruntlement at what is happening is South Africa.

In Zimbabwe, some rights activists met today to plan peaceful demonstrations at the South African embassy to register their concern about the current violence in that country.

Voice Of America's Studio7’s reporter, Marvellous Mhlanga Nyahuye caught up with Nyaradzo Mashayamombe and Nyasha Komboni in South Africa to give us their take on the issue.

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