Weekend Post (South Africa)

‘KZN attacks criminal, not xenophobic’

- Matthew Savides

The eThekwini municipali­ty and the Malawi High Commission have jointly denied that the recent violence aimed at foreign nationals in Durban was xenophobic – stating‚ instead‚ that it was criminally motivated.

This week‚ foreign nationals were targeted in sporadic outbreaks of violence in the Sydenham and Overport areas of the city. In at least two cases‚ they were forced to seek refuge at police stations.

But on Friday‚ the eThekwini council and the Malawi High Commission denied the violence was xenophobic.

“The incidents that led to Malawian nationals being chased out of their homes are not xenophobia but were criminally motivated as their belongings were stolen by the angry mob‚” the municipali­ty said.

It said the council and the commission were working tirelessly to integrate the foreign nationals – who were predominan­tly of Malawian descent – back to their communitie­s.

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede issued a stern warning to leaders of all political parties to desist from making populist statements that inflamed xenophobia or any other form of discrimina­tion.

“No African is a foreigner in Africa,” she said.

“As the municipali­ty‚ we are committed to working together with organisati­ons representi­ng immigrants and civil society formations to deal with issues that cause tension between and among all our people.”–

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