South Africa arrests 11 Suspected of Violence against Immigrants

Police in Johannesburg last month arrested eleven men, suspected of involvement in recent bouts of violence against immigrants. Local media reported the army and police joined forces for a raid on an all-male hostel in South Africa’s largest city.

The residence is described as a base for one of the groups believed to have incited xenophobic attacks, attacked buildings and blocked traffic throughout Johannesburg. Authorities say alcohol, marijuana and electrical equipment – presumed stolen – were found during the raid, as well as a number of weapons. The government deployed defence forced in parts of the city deemed hot spots for anti-immigrant violence.

Xenophobia FACTSFILE:

  • Between 2000 and March 2008, at least 67 people died through xenophobic attacks. In May 2008, a series of riots left 62 people dead, 21 of whom were South African citizens. The recent xenophobic attack was in 2015, which left about 6 people dead
  • Two of four of the causes of xenophobia as indicated by a report of the Human Sciences Research Council includes: unemployment, and a feeling of superiority to other Africans
  • The 2015 attack was reportedly fuelled by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini who was quoted as saying that foreigners should go back to their countries
  • In April 2015, the xenophobic attacks spread to Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city. Locals were reportedly looting foreigners’ properties and attacking immigrants in general, forcing hundreds of migrants to relocate to police stations across the country
  • Some countries government, such as Malawi took measures to repatriate their nationals, while and a number of other foreign governments also announced that they would evacuate their citizens
  • After 6 people were killed in the attacks, and more than 300 arrested, on April 23 several thousand demonstrators marched through central Johannesburg to protest against the attacks

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