South African Mobs Massacre Zimbabwean Immigrants
12 people were killed in anti-immigrant attacks this weekend.
Policemen take aim during clashes believed to be linked to recent anti-foreigner violence in Zandsfontein informal settlement outside Johannesburg, May 18, 2008. Hundreds of foreigners living in South Africa took refuge in police stations and churches as week-old violence against them spread further across poor townships, local media reported on Sunday. (REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko)
Zimbabwean immigrants were slaughtered last night in Johannesburg by locals angered that the immigrants were taking scarce jobs and housing.
The AP reported:
Mobs rampaged through poor suburbs of Johannesburg in a frenzy of anti-foreigner hatred over the weekend, killing at least seven people, injuring dozens and forcing hundreds to seek refuge at police stations.
Police said violence erupted after midnight Saturday in a rundown inner city area called Cleveland that is home to many immigrants. Two of the victims were burned and three others beaten to death. More than 50 were taken to hospitals with gunshot and stab wounds.
“It’s spreading like a wildfire and the police and the army can’t control it,” said Emmerson Zifo, who like many of the foreigners targeted was Zimbabwean.
The trouble began last week in the sprawling township of Alexandra. Angry residents there accused foreigners – many of them Zimbabweans who fled their own country’s economic collapse – of taking scarce jobs and housing. The unrest has since spread.
Johannesburg is South Africa’s economic hub and home to hundreds of thousands of immigrants. Many of them are illegal, but many have also been here for more than a decade and possess South African identity documents.
There has been sporadic anti-foreigner violence for months, mainly aimed at stores run by Somalis accused of undercutting local storeowners. But the violence of recent days was on a much larger scale.
Hat Tip Larwyn
A policeman shouts at protesters calling for the expulsion of immigrants in Johannesburg, Sunday May 18, 2008. Mobs went on the rampage in a frenzy of anti-foreigner hatred throughout poor suburbs with at least seven people reported dead. Dozens were injured and hundreds sought refuge at police stations. (AP)