South Africa holds crisis talk over xenophobic attacks on Africans

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations, Lindiwe Sisulu, will meet ambassadors from several African countries today to discuss a recent spate of attacks against foreigners in the city of Durban. 

The talks come after dozens of people – many from Malawi – were forced from their homes by angry mobs that have also looted shops. 

South Africa’s unemployment rate has reached more than 27% and many people take out their anger on foreign workers, accusing them of stealing their jobs.

It’s a key issue ahead of May’s election. The opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) says the governing African National Congress’ (ANC) policy has failed – with corruption, porous borders and a vast number of undocumented foreign nationals. 

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni recently spoke of the need to attract highly skilled people and said narrow nationalism led to economic stagnation. 

But many more jobs need to be created to help reduce the xenophobia in South Africa

Malema Condemned the Attacks

South Africa’s firebrand opposition leader Julius Malema has condemned the spate of attacks on African migrants in the coastal city of Durban, telling his supports: “There is no foreigner that took your jobs. If you fail in business, do not blame other people.”

Mr Malema – the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) – took a tough line against xenophobia while on the campaign trail in the North West and Free State provinces ahead of a general election on 8 May.

“I know you call foreign nationals derogatory names, but they are Africans like yourself,” Mr Malema said. 

“From Cape to Cairo, Morocco to Madagascar. African unity is key,” he added.

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