Nomsa Ngwenya, 33, a nurse by training, moved to Johannesburg 12 years ago from Zimbabwe. She first worked at a restaurant in Brixton and later as a domestic worker. She saved enough money to buy Thornton’s, a pub in Westdene, with a Zimbabwean friend, Robert Ncube, in February last year.
Ngwenya, who supports family in Johannesburg and Zimbabwe, says that they are very scared of the xenophobia situation in the country because they are “open targets”.
At least seven people have been killed since xenophobic violence erupted in Isipingo in KwaZulu-Natal late in March, later spreading to Gauteng. Around 300 people have since been arrested, and the police and military conducted raids in hotspots in Alexandra, Jeppestown and Primrose. Nigeria recalled its senior diplomats to SA over the violence on 25 April, sparking a diplomatic crisis between Africa’s two biggest economies.